Blessings of Association—Original Purity of the Human Spirit—Trials and Temptations, &c

Instructions by President Brigham Young, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, October 6, 1859.

We have assembled this morning in the capacity of a Conference; and as it is also our fast day, we will conduct the forenoon services as we generally do in our fast day meetings, when the Saints meet to express their feelings and to strengthen each other in their faith of the holy Gospel. We will, so far as the time will permit, give all the Saints who may wish the privilege to freely express their views and reflections to this congregation; and I hope we shall be enabled to appreciate the privilege we enjoy. I am aware that the Saints like to speak often one to another, if the candle of the Lord is lit up within them; and it is their delight to walk in the light thereof, and diffuse that delight to others, that they also may enjoy its blessings.

You are well aware, by your own experience, that mankind in their feelings and spirits are more or less subject to be operated upon by surrounding influences. You, no doubt, discover that you are very much inclined to mingle with and participate in the feelings and exercises of the society in which you are. Mankind are naturally inclined to associate one with another. Deprive an individual of the society of his fellow beings, and life becomes wearisome and a burden to him; his hours and days become monotonous and tedious.

This people, as a religious people, are more blessed with the spirit of association than are the generality of those called Christians. A gathering and social spirit seems to be the order of heaven—of the spirit that is in the Gospel we have embraced. Though it may be esteemed as a fault—as an unwarrantable act to separate ourselves from those who do not believe as we believe, yet such is the nature of a portion of our religion pertaining to the performance of outward duties. If the Latter-day Saints can associate together, free from the contaminating influences that are in the world, it is a blessing and a great privilege. What would induce a child to grow up in the wickedness of the wicked world, if it never saw or heard any of it? Would you see the fruit you now see produced? You would not. If children never heard language unbecoming intelligent beings, in their most heated passions, they would not know what to say; they would have no words to express their wicked feelings, until reflection would take the place of anger, and they would refrain from it.

It is very true that, through the fall, we are all prone to evil. It is also true that the spirit in man is also pure and holy upon its entrance into a tabernacle, and perfectly prepared to be influenced and receive instruction. Being united with the body, which was brought under condemnation through the fall, they are inseparably connected in a probation. And while they remain together, the spirit of evil, through the fall, has great power with the body; and the body, through its intimate connection, has great power with the spirit; and for this reason both are prone to evil. Still it would be difficult to find a person upon the earth so vile—so wicked—so overcome by the grossness of earth, that the holy principles and acts in the lives of the righteous are not more beautiful to them than are the wickedness and corruption in the lives of the froward and disobedient. The human family naturally admire a life of virtue and truth, and abhor falsehood and every kind of wickedness. The spirits that the Almighty has put into their tabernacles will more or less admire goodness, inwardly if not outwardly, though they are often overcome by the evil propensities that pertain to the flesh.

Since we are permitted by our Father and our God to do good, let us never suffer ourselves to be tempted, to be drawn aside, to be overcome, or thwarted in the pure and holy purpose that the pure spirit of intelligence (the spirit that is in us) reveals to the understanding. Not but that it is necessary in the very nature of things, in the economy of heaven, that we should be tried and tempted in all things, in order to prove ourselves and prepare ourselves to enjoy that eternal life that is prepared for the just. The time will be when people will not be tempted as they now are—when there will be no Tempter upon the earth. The knowledge and intelligence that will be diffused among the people will enable them to live a time and a season without the Tempter. But we live in a day when the power and rule of that evil principle is more excessive upon the earth than it ever has been. As the Prophet said, “For every one, from the least even unto the greatest, is given to covetousness; from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.” Mankind, in the present day, are further from the intelligence, the light, the glory, and the power of the Invisible than ever they were before, from the days of Adam until now. There never was a day of such heathen darkness and unbelief as now prevails. We have had the privilege of receiving those holy principles calculated to give us power to secure to ourselves eternal life and happiness, if we follow out those principles. It is a constant warfare. As the apostle expresses it, “The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” The spirit that is put into man is pure and holy; but through the power of evil with the flesh, it is more or less contaminated, influenced, seduced, and brought into bondage by the evil that exists upon the earth. Let the spirit overcome and come off conqueror.

While we have the privilege of speaking to each other, let us speak words of comfort and consolation. When you are influenced by the Spirit of holiness and purity, let your light shine; but if you are tried and tempted and buffeted by Satan, keep your thoughts to yourselves—keep your mouths closed; for speaking produces fruit, either of a good or evil character.

If persons think they have greater sorrow and affliction than any others, when they reveal that sorrow and affliction, it produces fruit. You frequently hear brethren and sisters say that they feel so tried and tempted, and have so many cares, and are so buffeted, that they must give vent to their feelings; and they yield to the temptation, and deal out their unpleasant sensations to their families and neighbors. Make up your minds thoroughly, once for all, that if we have trials, the Lord has suffered them to be brought upon us, and he will give us grace to bear them; and that they do not concern our families, friends, and neighbors, we can bear them off alone. But if we have light or intelligence—that which will do good, we will impart it; but our bad feelings, our desponding feelings, our dark hours, and disagreeable sensations we will keep to ourselves. Let that be the determination of every individual, for spirit begets spirit—likeness, likeness; feelings beget their likeness; and custom, custom. You know very well, by your own experience, that you are naturally inclined to more or less adopt the customs, feelings, and manners of the people you associate with. If, then, we give vent to all our bad feelings and disagreeable sensations, how quickly we beget the same in others, and load each other down with our troubles, and become sunk in darkness and despair! If you have anything good to say, speak it and comfort the hearts of the Saints. If you have that which tends to death, keep it to yourselves: we do not want it, for we already have plenty of it.

Frame your lives according to the precepts of the Gospel. Let your deal, walk, and conversation be that upon which an angel can look with pleasure. And in all your social communications, or whatever your associations are, let all the dark, discontented, murmuring, unhappy, miserable feelings—all the evil fruit of the mind, fall from the tree in silence and unnoticed; and so let it perish, without taking it up to present to your neighbors. But when you have joy and happiness, light and intelligence, truth and virtue, offer that fruit abundantly to your neighbors, and it will do them good, and so strengthen the hands of your fellow beings, even though you may be looked upon as an outcast, vile people, not worthy of the society of what are commonly deemed the intelligent portion of the world. This reminds me of what a man in Connecticut said when he was preparing to emigrate to Utah. His aunt was deeply regretting that he was going away off to Utah to live with that dark and outcast people. “Why, my dear boy, you are going entirely away from the Christians!” He replied—“Aunt, I have prayed for years to be delivered from these Christians.” I am happy, brethren and sisters, that we are measurably delivered from the so-called Christians.

Do you wish to know why I am happy for this deliverance? Because we have the privilege of associating together and pouring out the intelligence God has given us and is revealing from time to time, that we may grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth, and are not much trammeled by the fashions, customs, and contaminating influences of the world. Are there good men and women among them? Yes, a great many who are just as good, so far as they know, as we are. We have the benefit of further knowledge and further commands in this generation, being actually the disciples of the Lord Jesus, understanding our Master and his business and mission upon the earth. We have the privilege of diffusing this knowledge to the nations, and calling out those who wish to join hand and heart in building up the kingdom of God in the last days—in bringing forth the Zion of God, and bringing about one universal reign of peace and righteousness upon the earth. It is our business, and is all the business we have on our hands, to redeem the nations of the earth, and produce righteousness and the knowledge of God, until it shall go forth like the light of the morning sun. And let me say to you Latter-day Saints, Wake out of your slumber, and prepare yourselves for days that are fast approaching; for times are approaching of which you are little aware. Forsake the spirit of the world, bid farewell to your love and affections for the things of the world, and cleave unto God and unto those things that are calculated to prepare you to dwell in his presence. The earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof, and he deals with the children of men according to their agency—according to their knowledge and power, to let each and every one have an opportunity of proving themselves worthy to be crowned with crowns of glory, immortality, and eternal lives; and if they forfeit them, they must abide the consequences. But if they live the principles of the holy religion that Jesus Christ has produced on the earth, they will be prepared to dwell eternally in his presence.

Brethren and sisters, I will make one request of you. When you speak, speak so that we can hear and understand you, whether it be much or little, good or bad. If you have nothing to say, take my counsel, and keep your seat. If you have anything to say, say it; and when you get through, stop. Let your feelings be governed and controlled by the principles of eternal life, as should the children of God, delighting in truth and righteousness. Let the wicked say what they please, for their breath is in their nostrils, and all their glory is like the grass and the flower of the grass that passeth away. They are here but for a moment, and soon those who know them now will know them no more forever. They will soon be as though they had not been upon the earth.

Let not your feelings be afflicted or in anywise troubled by the sayings and doings of the wicked, for they are in the hands of the Almighty, and he will dispose of individuals and nations as seemeth him good. He must give them an opportunity to receive the truth and prepare themselves to dwell eternally with him, or to reject it and prepare themselves to be cut down as cumberers of the ground, suffer the wrath of the Almighty, and perish and be wasted away until they will be known no more. Seek for that which will endure. Set your hearts upon those things that will abide not only today, tomorrow, this year, and throughout your lifetime, but also the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and the presence of the Almighty who dwells in eternal burnings.

May God bless you! Amen.

Possession of the Spirit, &c

Remarks by President Brigham Young, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, Oct. 6, 1859.

Brethren and sisters, I rejoice exceedingly for the manifestation of the Spirit of God I have witnessed here today. We have heard good testimonies and good counsel, and the Spirit of the Lord is upon the people; and I trust that I shall see an increase of this Spirit, which I have felt in a signal manner today, and which I also feel day by day.

The world could not hire me to be a “Mormon,” unless I enjoyed the spirit of my religion. I need that spirit in my business, as well as in my worship; and I surely would need it, if I had to go to the canyons and drive cattle: I would need a double portion of it. Whatever we do should be in accordance with the mind of the Holy Spirit. We are not at all under the necessity of falling into the mistake that the Christian world falls into. They think, when they are handling or dealing in the things of this world, that those things have nothing to do with their religion. Our religion takes within its wide embrace not only things of heaven, but also things of earth. It circumscribes all art, science, and literature pertaining to heaven, earth, and hell. Is there any good? It belongs to you and me. Is there virtue? It is ours. Is there truth? It is ours. Is there knowledge? It is for us.

All eternity is before us. Let us deal with ourselves like men and women of God. Let us deal with one another like intelligent beings. Our religion drinks up all truth, and the Lord Almighty will gather unto Zion all the intelligence and wisdom that has ever been exhibited among men.

When I see men craving for and lusting after the things of this world, it looks very childish to me. These things belong to the Lord, and we are his. The gold and the silver, the fine flour, the wine and the oil, and all the treasures of the earth are his, and he disposes of them as he will. When we are prepared, we shall have gold sufficient to pave the streets, and we will tread it under our feet. Shame on men and women, professing to be Saints, who worship and love the perishing things of earth. Love God and his work, and all is ours in time and in eternity.

May the Lord help us so to do! Amen.

Sowing and Reaping—Fulfillment of Covenants

Remarks by President Orson Hyde, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, October 6, 1859.

As liberty was extended this morning to confess our faults and speak our feelings and our experience, I now avail myself of the privilege granted.

For some length of time I do not know that I have committed any very grievous sins or serious iniquities. At the same time, I feel that the light of heaven in me reproves me for many things; and I seek to receive the admonitions of the Spirit, and profit continually by them.

I am sensible that I am subject to weaknesses, to many foibles and failings; yet, as I before said, I am not conscious of having committed any very grievous sin—at least, since the reformation. My desires are to keep the commandments of God, and to retain in my own bosom his good Spirit. That Spirit was particularly manifested here this morning; and while it was upon me, I endeavored to look at myself, and it seemed as though a live coal was in my heart, that caused it to burn with joy and gladness, with thanksgiving and praise to our God. Had I given vent to my feelings, without restraint, I might have made more noise than would have been acceptable to this congregation. But “the spirit of the prophets is subject to the prophets, and wisdom is justified of her children.”

The counsel we received this morning commends itself to every man’s conscience. The good which we feel, and with which we are often exercised, may be freely dispensed to others; but the bad feelings which we sometimes possess should not often be suffered to burden others, but should be buried—smothered, until they die out. The good which we possess we may reveal to our friends for their edification and comfort, but withhold from them our griefs and sorrows, and reveal them unto God, who bears our sorrows willingly, without endangering himself.

If we never sow gloomy, desponding, or evil principles, we shall not be likely to reap them. If we sow cheerful, lively, and good principles, we shall most likely reap an abundant harvest of the same; for, according to that which a man soweth, that also shall he reap. Let us learn to restrain every evil feeling; for if we give them birth, there is no telling the amount of evil they may create, and when or where they will end their work of death.

The Son of Man sowed good seed in his field; and while men slept, the enemy came and sowed tares: consequently, there was a mixed crop. Let us sow pure seed, as did the Son of Man, and watch, lest the enemy sow bad seed, and cause a great amount of trouble thereby.

A few thoughts have suggested themselves to my mind in connection with some remarks I made last Sunday in the afternoon. It is not my province always to say that things are so-and-so; yet, under some circumstances, it is. But I will now do as I did last Sabbath. I will suppose a case.

We all acknowledge that we had an existence before we were born into this world. How long before we took our departure from the realms of bliss to find tabernacles in flesh is unknown to us. Suffice it to say that we were sent here. We came willingly: the requirement of our heavenly Father and our anxiety to take bodies brought us here. We might be sent on a mission to some foreign country, and feel under obligation to go, not only from respect to the moral condition of the people to whom we are sent, but also out of respect to the authority which required the service at our hands. But if we were to consult our own feelings, and be allowed our choice to go or stay with equal approval, we might prefer to remain at home. But we understood things better there than we do in this lower world. Here, in this world, Paul says, “For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope [of return]. The creature itself shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption and brought into the glorious liberty of the children of God.”

Then, if it be true that we entered into a covenant with the powers celestial, before we left our former homes, that we would come here and obey the voice of the Lord, through whomsoever he might speak, these powers are witnesses of the covenant into which we entered; and it is not impossible that we signed the articles thereof with our own hands—which articles may be retained in the archives above, to be presented to us when we rise from the dead, and be judged out of our own mouths, according to that which is written in the books.

We are situated here in various relations, not only to the servants of God that are given us to guide our energies, but we also stand in various relations to one another, as husband and wife, parent and child—which relations are branches of that everlasting covenant, because they are legitimate and ordained of God. Did we covenant and agree that we would be subject to the authorities of heaven placed over us? What do you think about it? Do you think we plighted our faith and came here with that view and under that covenant? And, in this respect, is the whole world on the same footing? Yes, verily: “He that receiveth you receiveth me.”

The veil is thick between us and the country whence we came. We cannot see clearly—we cannot clearly comprehend—we have forgotten! For instance, when we leave our homes on earth for a long time, and roam abroad in foreign lands, we forget many of the little incidents of our nativity, barely recollecting and being impressed that we have a home in some far-off country, while in others the thought is entirely obliterated from their memory, and is to them as though such things had never existed. But our forgetfulness cannot alter the facts.

Did we covenant to be subject to the authority of God in all the different relations of life—that we would be loyal to the legitimate powers that emanate from God? I have been led to think that such is the truth. Something whispers these things to me in this light. Again, for instance, the husband and wife unite their destinies under the seal of this everlast ing covenant, for this covenant covers all the just transactions of the legitimate authorities and powers that be on earth. We therefore regard marriage as a branch of the everlasting covenant.

What did we agree to before we came here? If to anything, I suppose the very same things we agreed to since we did come here, that are legitimate and proper. The husband agreed to be a faithful servant of God, to do his duty to all that were placed under his charge. The wife, on her part, covenants that she will be a faithful and devoted wife, and will obey her husband in the Lord in all things. If this were so, it is all right; for it is just as we are taught on the earth.

But the question is, Did we subscribe to any such doctrine as this on the start? I will not say that we did; yet I have had such thoughts, and they whisper strongly in my heart.

Children agreed to obey their parents, as parents agreed to obey their superiors in the kingdom of God; and parents were brought under obligation to train their children in the way they should go. This is written in the Bible, if nowhere else. How many of us look upon the rearing and training of our children, and the correction of their wrongs, as about the least duty that is enjoined upon us? There are too many that look upon it in this point of view. Do you ask what evidence I have of that fact? When I go among the children of the city, and hear them use profane and unbecoming language, there we have the evidence not only of their parents’ neglect, but of their shame and dishonor. It is said, “Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” What is it to honor thy father? Is it to say, “Oh, father, how I love you!” or, “Oh, how I love you, mother! How glad I am to see you! I really feel glad and happy to be with you!”

As far as these go, they are all very well. But suppose the child would never lie—would never curse and swear, but observe the rules of propriety; do you not see that he honors his parent? And the observer comes to the conclusion that the fountain is pure. The tree is known by its fruit. The children are our fruit, and the character of the children is an index, more or less, to the quality of the tree that bore them. It appears so to me.

I find that after covenants have been entered into among the Saints, as, for instance, between husband and wife, there are sometimes divorces called for, and the covenant is broken. When we go back whence we came, to give an account of our stewardship, what apology can we plead before the King of kings and Lord of lords? If either party have been guilty of adultery, then divorce may be justifiable; but upon what other ground? I await the answer. Will the plea of the hardness of hearts meet with favor at the final bar?

Look, for instance, at the person who renounces his faith, and goes again to the spirit and practices of the world. He has broken the terms of the everlasting covenant, and is gone whoring after other gods, and is consequently divorced. What kind of an account can he render, if he repent not? How is he going to meet it in a coming day, when the veil shall be rent asunder, and he shall see his own handwriting subscribing to the everlasting covenant produced against him. Is it not written in the beautiful song sung by brother McAllister this morning, that “Angels above us are silent notes taking?” and was not that song inspired by the Spirit of God, and just as true as any line in the Bible, and just as faithful?

Well, then, it stands us in hand, brethren and sisters, to look well to ourselves, and be sure that neither the husband nor the wife is the transgressor; for the one that is really in the fault, when weighed in the balance, will be found wanting; and I fear for such.

It is well for us to look at these things, and make ourselves fully acquainted with the obligations we are under one to another, to discharge them in the fear of God; and I know not how we can discharge them, unless we have the Spirit of the true and living God; for that is what gives life—what gives energy and animation, and should inspire us in all our ways.

In relation to the wickedness that is alleged to exist among the Saints, I will tell you what conclusion I have come to. When I have seen persons that I thought were out of the way, if a convenient opportunity offered, and I have felt it was wisdom, I would reprove them. At the same time I say, Let me take that as an admonition to regulate my own conduct, and see that I do not go astray, that I may not be swamped in the spirit of evil—in the spirit and pride of this world. Let me take care of number one, and keep him clear of all iniquity, free from a spirit of murmuring or faultfinding.

Some suppose that because men in higher authority than themselves do so-and-so, they can do so-and-so with less impunity. It is immaterial to us what So-and-so does; it gives no license to us to do wrong; and we may plead that argument before God and angels, but it will avail us nothing. Our own improprieties and unwise course will be so plain in our minds that we shall never think of giving utterance to any such argument.

If we have good, let us distribute it as we have heard this morning. Let us sow good. It is immaterial what others do, so far as we are concerned. If we sow good, we shall reap good.

I do not feel to prolong my remarks. There is one word more I want to say, however; and that is, I feel that there is good near at hand for this people; and I have felt so for a number of weeks and months.

Now, for heaven’s sake, let us go to and regulate ourselves, and prepare for it, lest, peradventure, by postponing to do this, our dish may be bottom-side up when it comes. I tell you, Good is coming to those whose dish is right side up. May God bless the faithful! Amen.

The Work of God Among the Nations Effected By the Power and Testimony of His Spirit, and Not By the Talents of Men, Etc.

Remarks by Elder Erastus Snow, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, September 18, 1859.

While brother Liljinquist has been addressing the congregation, I thought of the saying in the Scriptures—With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord.” This was spoken in reference to ancient Israel. It would seem that anciently as well as in modern times, the word of the Lord that went out from Israel to the surrounding nations came back to them. And even Israel themselves refused to hear the testimony of men of other tongues and other lips the Lord sent to them in the days of Jesus Christ and his Apostles.

I remember having read in the Book of Mormon instances of a similar kind among the ancient Nephites, when the spirit of apostasy was creeping over them. The Lord raised up Prophets and righteous men from among the Lamanites, and sent them to reprove the Nephites, to prophesy unto them, and to warn them of impending destruction, if they did not repent. Alma says, “For I am persuaded that the Lord deals out his word unto all the nations of the earth according as he will, and raises up men to bear witness of him, and to carry his word unto all people as they are capable of receiving.”

The way and manner the Lord has sent forth laborers with his Gospel among the nations in the latter days has made me often think of these words of Alma. Even among the remnants of Israel who are roaming through the continent of America—the Indians, the Lord manifests himself in various ways as they are capable of receiving those impressions he wishes to impart to them. It has pleased our Heavenly Father that the great work of the latter days which has been spoken of by all the holy Prophets, the establishing of his kingdom upon the earth, setting to his hand the second time to restore the house of Israel, should commence on the land of America, and under the auspices of the Government of the United States. This work he has commenced by the hand of his servant Joseph Smith, and those whom he called to be his associates and fellow laborers.

The land of America was a promised land to the pilgrim fathers, and an asylum for the oppressed of all nations. To this land people from all nations flocked, and the Lord inspired them to establish a free government preparatory to the establishment of his kingdom in the latter days. It was in this land he sought out and raised up his servants in their weakness to be the messengers of eternal life to the children of men, that it might go from this land to other nations.

I believe it fell to my lot to be among the first who went to nations of other tongues. Elder Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, and others who accompanied them, opened the door of the Gospel of salvation first to the nation of Great Britain. But, if my memory serves me, at the time Elder Taylor went to France, Elder L. Snow to Italy, myself and Elder Hanson to Denmark, and divers Elders to different nations, it was the first mission of Elders to people of other tongues. This is about ten years ago.

It was after we located in the valleys of these mountains, and this city had become a resting place for the Saints who had been scattered from Nauvoo. On our journey from this place, in the fall of 1849, to visit the nations of Europe, we met large emigrating companies of our brethren and sisters who had been scattered and driven from their possessions in the East. It is marvelous to see the working of our God among the nations of the earth, in gathering out his elect from time to time from those nations. It is marvelous in the eyes of those who understand not the Gospel. They have striven all the day long in their blind zeal to hedge up the way of the servants of God and hinder the spread of his Gospel. Still they perceive it steadily progressing, and the Saints gathering home like doves to their windows. Every effort they make to destroy the people of God, to scatter, divide, and weaken them, seems only to advance their progress and consolidate them in one. We have explained to them why it is they cannot hinder it; but they cannot comprehend. They think it is all accomplished by the talent, ability, ingenuity, and wisdom alone of those who direct the affairs of this Church. They speak of Brigham Young and his Counselors, and other leading Elders of “Mormonism,” as being smart, cunning, shrewd men, who deceive, cajole, blind, and lead the people astray. So far from this being the truth, it is in reality the reverse, to all intents and purposes.

Let any man undertake to dictate, govern, control, lead, and gather together this people by his own wisdom alone, and the result will be like what we have seen within the last two years in this Territory in regard to the endeavors of our enemies to break us up and scatter us to the four winds. Their union is like a rope of sand, and every plan they devise comes to naught, until they are discouraged and say, “Damn it, let us quit and go home.”

Judge Black says, in his explanation in reference to the officials sent to this Territory, that the Government sought the whole country over and sent the best men they could find to administer the principles of equity, justice, and truth to this people. But, in addition to these, let them send special missionaries, the most gifted and talented there are on the earth, to draw off and lead this people by their own cunning, shrewdness, and wisdom, and would they produce the results we now see every day? Would they see a people that move and act in almost perfect harmony and oneness? Let them try it. Let the smartest Elder that can be found in this Church try it.

In bygone days Elders have imagined in their hearts that their wisdom, talent, and ability had something to do with it—that the kingdom of God could not move unless their shoulder was at the wheel—that if they held back in the breeching, they would stop the onward motion of the car. But the Lord left them covered with their own shame and folly, after he had suffered them to try the experiment; and the great car of truth still rolled steadily forward.

Some are inclined to find fault with the Latter-day Saints because of the murder, rapine, theft, adultery, and abominations that are practiced in Salt Lake City and in Utah Territory. Are the Latter-day Saints to blame for this? No. The Latter-day Saints have better business to engage themselves in, which is serving the Lord, working righteousness, doing good to themselves and to all people who will receive good at their hands. Nobody has anything to do with this shooting and killing one another, stealing, breaking into houses, whoredom, running off horses and mules and cattle, and all such sort of abominations—getting drunk and screaming in the streets, but just such as love it. They are not Latter-day Saints who do such things; but, on the contrary, they are those who are striving to destroy “Mormonism,” and they are destroying themselves in answer to the prayers of all the faithful Latter-day Saints.

The Latter-day Saints pray, if the wicked must kill somebody, they may kill those that ought to be killed. You may perhaps think it is wrong to pray that they may kill anybody. We would rather pray that they may be saved. There are various ways of saving men, simply because they will not all be saved in the same way, as there are various ways of making men happy.

There is a class of men who are always miserable only when they are making everybody else so, and their happiness consists in doing all the mischief they can, and injuring everybody around them.

We teach them the principles of the Gospel. Can they hear it? They hear with the ear, but they hear not; they have eyes, but they see not; hearts have they, but they understand not; and they go backward, and fall and perish. When the truth is told to them, they will not believe it; but hand them out a pack of infernal lies, and they will gulp them down as a thirsty ox drinks water. How can such persons learn and understand the truth? As Jesus said to the Scribes and Pharisees anciently, “How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only.”

How can your Judges judge in righteousness and shut their ears to the voice of truth and to the testimony of innocence, and look around in all directions to find some mean scoundrel to come up and testify lies? How can any people be instructed in the things of God and receive light, while they are laboring diligently to shut out every particle of light from their tabernacles?

If you wish to know why the simple testimony of the humble servants of God gathers together this people from the nations of the earth, it is because there was place found in their hearts for the word.

When I went to Denmark, I could not speak the first word of their language, or know the first letter of their alphabet. I was to all intents and purposes a barbarian to them, and they were barbarians to me. I went there because I was sent, with an intention to do the best I knew how, as the Spirit of the Lord might direct me. You may ask if I received the gift of tongues, that I could begin and speak to them in their own language by the power of the Holy Ghost without studying. I answer, Yes, when it pleased the Lord to give it to me; and when it did not, I remained silent. I did not have any special anxiety to preach to them in their own tongue anymore than the Lord wanted to have me do.

I did not do a great deal of preaching in that country, but I did whatever the Lord put into my heart to do as near as I knew how; and I learned the language as fast as the Spirit of the Lord enabled me to do so, that I might bear my testimony to them in their own tongue, and that I might understand what they said to me when they asked me questions and required explanations; and when they wished to correspond with me, that I might be able to write an answer. I had to learn to read and write, and talk to them in their own language. Did the Spirit of the Lord assist me? Yes. I learned their language, and became so familiar with it as to write and speak with them in six months’ time.

The Holy Ghost was with me to assist me. In twenty-one months I published the Book of Mormon, the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and the Hymn Book, and eight or ten pamphlets.

A gentleman upon the vessel, on my return home, having been informed in how short a time I had learned the language, declared it was impossible for any mortal man to become acquainted with the Danish language and use it as I did in so short a time; and pronounced me an impostor to some of the Saints on board who were traveling in company with me to this place, for palming upon them some miraculous thing; and expressed himself as having no doubt that I familiarized myself with the language in college in some other country by years of study.

I was there comparatively alone, and the harvest great and the laborers few, and the Spirit bore testimony that the Lord had much people there. I saw, if they were all to be sought out and gathered home by the labors of men sent from America, and after traveling so long a journey to learn their language, that it was a great work; and the words of Alma came forcibly to my mind, that the Lord raises up men among all the nations of the earth, to give them that portion of his word which they are capable of receiving. And I cried unto the Lord, saying, “O Lord, raise up laborers and send them into this harvest—men of their own tongue, who have been raised among them and are familiar with the spirits of the people.” He has done it. Before I left, there was quite a little army of Elders and Priests, Teachers and Deacons, laboring in the vineyard; and thousands have rejoiced in the testimony of the Gospel borne to them by their fellow countrymen.

Do any of you ask how this came to pass that so many thousands have gathered from that land, and are now in these valleys of the mountains; and why thousands more are longing to come here who are rejoicing in the testimony of the Gospel in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, &c.? I answer—It was not done by the wisdom and learning of man, or by any influence that man himself could exert over that distant people. If any person thinks so for a moment, he thinks so because he knows no better. It is a mystery to them; and they would not believe, if it were unfolded to them.

We testify and bear witness that it is not of man, but of God—that it is the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ—that it is the gift and influence of the Holy Ghost that bears witness to the hearts of this people. When in the simplicity of my heart I could speak but little unto them with stammering lips, I said more with my eyes and fingers than with my tongue. The power of the Holy Ghost rested upon the people; and when I asked them if they understood me, “Yes,” said they, “we understood it all.” It was not because I spoke it fully with my tongue, but God made them understand me. If I asked them if they believed it, “Yes,” would be the reply; “we have the testimony of the Holy Ghost bearing witness within us that it is true.”

I laid my hands upon the men that were raised up around about me, and sent them to preach the Gospel; and they were just such men as the Lord sent me; no matter if they were shoemakers, carpenters, chimney sweepers, or any other kind of trade. I told them to go forth and bear witness of what they had heard, and of what they knew; and every time they opened their mouth, a stream of light would flow from them to the people, who were melted before them. This is the experience of every man of God upon all the earth.

You ask the people who are in these valleys who profess to be Latter-day Saints why they are here, and they will tell you they could not keep away; and many will say that if they could have kept away, they would. Say they, “Mormonism is true: We know it.” They feel like Almon Babbitt: he said he would give ten thousand dollars if he could only know “Mormonism” to be untrue.

It troubles those who do not exactly love it, because it interferes with some of their favorite desires: it will not exactly allow them to gratify every wish and desire of their hearts. It curtails them in some of their wickedness, pride, selfishness, and idolatry; and because of this, they do not like it, and they wish it were not true, that they might escape an awful condemnation. Because they know it is true, they cannot get off the hook, and must be drawn in. Ask them if they were so influenced by the wisdom, learning, shrewdness, or cunning of those who taught them the principles of life and salvation, and they will answer you that they know better. There are but few religions you can name, or preachers of any denomination, that have not been heard by the chief bulk of the Latter-day Saints. But did their eloquence, learning, cunning, intelligence, and experience govern and control them, or influence them in any uncommon way? No. But when the simple, naked truth was told to them in childlike simplicity, if it came from a babe, they understood it: it went to their hearts. This is the reason why they are here, and why they stay here. And those who go away are they who come flouncing all the way like a fish caught by the gills, and they keep it up until the gill breaks, when they return again to their native element. I have no objections to this: it is all right.

If men want to fight, and drink whiskey, and roll in the mud, and spue in the gutter, I have no objections. The only objection I have is, that it hurts my feelings to find one of the Seventies, one of the Elders, or one of the High Priests lying on my sidewalk or under my fence in a state of intoxication, and I am obliged to pass by and call him brother. I am obliged to have it thrown to me that I fellowship him. I wish every person to understand that I do not fellowship any such conduct. Still they will plead, and plead, and plead to be forgiven and tried again. Yes, try him again until he reaches another whiskey shop.

I think if those who keep the shop, who hang out the sign, who gather the poison by the pailfull, and keep it to retail out by the dimes’ worth, want that occupation in time, they ought also to have it in eternity, and sell it to Pharaoh and his hosts in hell. I am ashamed of all such Elders. They excuse themselves by saying, “People will have the liquor; and if I don’t sell it, somebody else will; and I might as well have the money as anybody else.” They might as well say, There is a herd of cattle, horses, or mules on the range that will be stolen, and I might as well steal them as anybody else.

The principles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints do not countenance such conduct. It is Gentilism—Devilism.

It may be asked, Why do not the “Mormons” put a stop to this cheating of one another? I do all I can towards it. When they wish to quit their wickedness, I will try to help them do it. I would not care to see burned down that row of buildings where whiskey is kept and drunkenness encouraged. I do not wish the buildings burned up, but I say I never would occupy one of them. I would rather go and live on the top of one of those mountains than have any of my family occupy one of those cursed houses where all kinds of corruption is practiced.

In years gone by, it has been considered awful oppression here because the Saints in the community did not feel to approve of these things, and there were no army—no federal officers to hold out protection to men when they violated every acknowledged rule of a well-regulated society.

Now, let me say to all such characters—federal officers, the army, Saint and sinner, Jew and Gentile—that instead of being protected in wickedness, they will find the sword of justice that hangs over them will soon fall heavily upon them, and when they least expect it. Do you ask who will wield it? I answer, The Lord Almighty. He will not always look on and see this land polluted by such curses. And those who have professed the name of Jesus Christ, and have had the testimony of Jesus, and depart from the way of the Lord, to pursue covetousness and idolatry, will be the first to feel his wrath in the day of the Lord, when he has borne with them sufficiently. Every man’s works will speak for him, and they will be weighed in the balance, whether he be Jew or Gentile. Every man’s works will make manifest whether he is for law and order—for the principles of the Constitution of the United States and the rights of man, or whether he is here to ride over everybody that will not be influenced by him. The man that does this will find himself in snag harbor, and he will run against snags when and where he least expects it.

The Lord says the wicked shall slay the wicked, and he orders it so. I pray God that he will preserve the righteous, and endue his people who love the truth with grace, that they may let their light shine, and be able to bear testimony of the Gospel to all nations. Amen.

Privileges and Experience of the Saints, Etc.

Exhortation by Elder Orson Pratt, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, September 18, 1859.

I have been extremely gratified in the remarks that have been made by brother Gates. The instructions which he has given us have been imparted, as I believe, by the gift of the Holy Ghost. I feel truly grateful that we live in an age of the world when we can receive instructions by the power and wisdom of that Spirit which searches all things—that Spirit that understands all things, and discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart. All other preaching is vain. I can say, with him, that it is one of the greatest pleasures of my life to speak, when I can have the Spirit of the Lord to assist me. Without it, I would rather do the hardest kind of bodily labor. Indeed, I do not think that it is the privilege of any of the servants of God to speak in the name of the Lord without that Spirit. But I have oftentimes thought that no per son who was living according to the commandments of God could rise before a congregation of Saints like this before me, and open his mouth in humility and simplicity of heart, but what the Lord would give him something to say. It is through the united faith of the people of God—through that confidence which they have in the Being whom they worship, that he, for their edification and benefit, will grant his Spirit unto his humble and faithful Saints. But we oftentimes deprive ourselves of the blessings and enjoyments which we might receive, through the darkness of our minds, through our selfishness, through our neglect of keeping the commandments of God, through our disobedience, and through the abundance of cares and perplexities with which we have to contend in this mortal existence. All these things have a tendency, more or less, to darken the understanding and drive away from the heart that peaceable Spirit which whispers peace to the minds of the sons and daughters of God. I often reflect upon this subject much, and inquire in my own mind, and try to search out some of the causes of our being so far beneath the privileges which are guaranteed to us in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is not because the promises of God have failed. It is not because we are not worshipping the same Being whom the Saints worshipped in ancient days. It is not because there are insurmountable obstacles in our way; but the cause lies in our own selves. We are the individuals that shut out this light of heaven—this light of truth that would otherwise shine upon our understandings. Do you ever compare yourselves with those people that we read of in ancient times that were called the people of God? I mean some of the best of them. Not but that there were individuals who lived then, professing to be the children of God, who were just as imperfect in their ways and doings and conduct as some of us are. But, then, there were others who lived in ancient times who were far in advance of us. They attained to greater faith and to greater privileges than those we enjoy.

Where is there a servant of God in all the Church of Latter-day Saints that has enjoyed the same privileges that many of the first of the servants of God did 1,800 years ago on the Eastern continent? There are scarcely any. Have we beheld Jesus face to face? Have we conversed with him as Peter, James, and John, and the others of the Twelve did in that day and age of the world? No, we have not. There may have been some few exceptions. Have we attained even to the blessings of the lesser Priesthood, to say nothing about the higher blessings of the greater Priesthood? What are the blessings promised to the lesser Priesthood? They are not only to hold authority and administer in the name of the Lord in temporal things, and administer in certain outward ordinances; but there are privileges that the lesser Priesthood enjoy far exceeding those temporal administrations. They were to have the privilege of conversing with angels. Did you ever reflect or realize how great a privilege this is?

Is it not a great privilege to go before the Lord and receive the ministration of angels, and instructions from their mouths with regard to what should be spoken to the people? But very few of the lesser Priesthood who sit under the sound of my voice, or who are to be found upon the whole earth, have attained to this privilege. If the lesser Priesthood have not attained to it, let us inquire concerning those that hold still higher authority, concerning the Elders, Seventies, High Priests, the Twelve, the various Bishops, and the various authorities and presiding Elders over different Branches and settlements. Have they even attained to the blessings of the lesser Priesthood? No. With the exception of a very few individuals who may have come up to their privileges, who may have had the visions of eternity opened to them, and may have conversed with angels, and received instructions with regard to their callings and duties, and what they shall say to the people; but, with the exception of these few individuals, the others are away in the background. And when we come to speak of the higher privileges, beyond that of receiving the administration of angels, you can scarcely find a man in all the Latter-day Kingdom that has come up to them. I have not. I speak it to my shame, and I speak it, as brother Gates spoke concerning himself, with shame, that I have not attained to the privileges that pertain to the higher Priesthood. What are these privileges? They are plainly laid down in the word of God. Those holding that Priesthood have the privilege not only of receiving the ministration of angels, but to have the heavens opened to them, and to behold the face of God.

Now, no man, without the Spirit of the Lord resting upon him to quicken him in body and mind, can have this great and exalted privilege to behold the face of God the Father who is in the heavens. But few have attained to this great and exalted privilege. Are there not some reasons—some causes? Have we not been members of this Church, some of us for sixteen, eighteen, or twenty years, and some of us for twenty-five and almost thirty years? It will be twenty-nine years tomorrow since I was baptized into this Church; and I feel ashamed that I have not made greater progress in the things of the kingdom of God, when compared with the promises that have been made to us. Notwithstanding all this, when I reflect upon the advancement which we have made, compared with our former ignorance, I can truly say that the contrast is very great. We have learned many things pertaining to the first principles of our religion, and pertaining to the first principles of our conduct as Saints of the Most High; and we have learned this lesson most thoroughly too. It is not merely a theoretical lesson, but we have learned it practically.

Many of us have learned to be subject to every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. We have learned that it is not only necessary for us to cease from taking the name of the Lord our God in vain, but to never mention his name only by constraint of his Spirit. We have learned to impose a guard upon our tongues, to speak no evil concerning the children of God. We have learned not to backbite our neighbors and friends. Many of us have learned this lesson, but not all of us.

We have learned, also, practically, the necessity of ceasing from all light-mindedness and levity and excessive laughter. But there are many, I am sorry to say, who have not learned the first principle of this lesson. We have learned that we can be cheerful without yielding to much laughter; for this is accounted in the revelations of God as sin in the sight of Heaven.

We have learned a great many important principles pertaining to family government. We have learned many important principles pertaining to giving heed to all the counsels of the Priesthood that may be imparted unto us, from time to time, by the voice of the Spirit of God. We have learned, in a great measure, to discern those who have the Spirit and those who have it not, when they speak to us in Church or in Ward meetings. We have learned that our religion consists in doing the things required at our hands, instead of hearing from Sabbath to Sabbath, and not doing.

We have learned the necessity of giving the most earnest heed to every counsel and word which the Lord our God has given to regulate our conduct. And many of us have learned, also, that when the Lord speaks, not by command, but by the word of wisdom and advice, that we should give heed to the same, in order to enjoy that flow of the Spirit of the living God in our hearts which is necessary to prepare us for further blessings. But, after all we have learned during the last quarter-of-a-century in this Church, we have not yet prepared ourselves sufficiently to receive the great and important blessings I have named pertaining to the two Priesthoods of the living God.

When shall we learn this lesson? When we have learned to govern ourselves more perfectly than we have hitherto done—to guard ourselves on the right hand and on the left from the encroachments of evil—to set a seal upon our mouths and tongues, and only to use them according to the principles of eternal truth—according to the mind and will of God. When we have learned to do unto others as we would have them do unto us in all things, and to regulate ourselves not only by the written commandments of the Most High God, but by the words of wisdom and counsel imparted to us day by day through his servants—when we have learned these important lessons more perfectly, then we may expect the promise of the Lord to be more perfectly fulfilled to us, and not before.

I can recollect, twenty-nine years ago this present autumn, that I went into the chamber of father Whitmer, in whose house the Lord manifested himself in the organization of this Church, consisting of six members. I went into that chamber with the Prophet Joseph Smith, to inquire of the Lord; and he received a revelation for my benefit, which was written from the mouth of the Prophet by John Whitmer, one of the witnesses of the Book of Mormon. I was then only about nineteen years of age, and was desirous to know what my duty was. The Lord commanded in this revelation that I should preach his Gospel. I thought that was a very great and important calling, and I felt altogether incompetent unless the Lord qualified me by his Spirit.

Among other things contained in this revelation, the Lord gave me a command in these words—“Therefore lift up thy voice and prophesy, and it shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost.” I thought to myself, that unless the Lord shall pour out his Spirit upon me more fully than anything I ever yet have experienced, I never can perform these duties acceptably in his sight.

To prophesy without the Holy Ghost—to reveal—was something I dare not do. I would rather have had my head severed from my body than to have been guilty of so great a crime. Indeed, there is one of the most awful denunciations pronounced upon that man who undertakes to prophesy in the name of the Lord, without the Holy Ghost to inspire him. Such a man in ancient days was to be cut off from the midst of Israel.

I felt, therefore, the importance of those sayings; and truly, when I looked at the magnitude and importance of the command given to me to prophesy by the power of the Holy Ghost, I felt oftentimes to tremble and shrink, for fear I never should be able to fulfil and accomplish so great a work.

And I recollect another revelation that requires all the servants of God who are sent forth, to lift up their voices and preach and prophesy as it shall be given by the Spirit of God. Have we attained to this gift of prophecy as we ought as the servants of the living God? How few of us have obtained a message beforehand by the Spirit of the living God to deliver to the people, as Jacob, one of the ancient servants of God, did on the American continent. Jacob, the brother of Nephi, came into the temple to preach to the people, and declared to them that the Lord had previously revealed to him what he should say to them. He went and inquired of the Lord, and he revealed his mind and will, and thus Jacob found out what was wanted for the people: he understood their condition and what sins they had committed before the Most High, and he knew how to reprove them, because God had visited him by the Spirit of revelation.

How many of us have gone forth and received our errand from the Lord by the voice of the Spirit of revelation, before we have ventured before the people to teach the things of the kingdom of God? Although I have often prayed and sought earnestly and humbly that I might be assisted to preach to the people, and to say something to benefit them, yet I have not, by my earnestness and diligence and faith, been able to obtain those revelations and visions that belong to the High Priesthood and to the Apostleship, that I might know what to preach to the people to the extent of our privileges for their edification. Yet I do know the Lord has blessed me and my brethren, and given us a portion of his Spirit; and our hearts have been dictated, as I believe, by the spirit of wisdom and counsel; and the things of the kingdom of God have been made known to us in the very moment; and we have been able to speak to them, but not in that power and demonstration that belongs to the Priesthood of the living God.

I recollect reading the prophecy of Enoch, that he, after having gathered together his people from the different parts of the earth, the same as we are doing, commenced preaching righteousness to them. He built up the city called Zion, and the Lord revealed himself to Enoch, and he saw him face to face. God walked and talked with him, and he dwelt in the midst of the city of Zion for the space of three hundred and sixty-five years; and then God took Enoch, city, people and all, to heaven.

I recollect reading of Enoch’s having gathered his people, and that their enemies came up against them to battle. What kind of weapons did Enoch use to destroy his enemies? It says, “And he (Enoch) spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountains fled, according to his command; and the rivers of water were turned out of their course; and the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness; and all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch, and so great was the power of language which God had given him.”

That was the power given to that Priesthood and authority which was conferred upon Enoch in the early ages of the world. It is also your privilege, ye servants of the living God, to obtain by faith the same blessings and the same power, that when you shall be appointed upon foreign missions, you can open your mouths by the power of the same Spirit that rested upon Enoch—that you cannot only teach them what they shall do, but prophesy to the people and tell them what shall be in the future—tell them of the judgments and calamities that shall overtake the wicked. It is your privilege to prophesy to the great and to the low, to the king on his throne, to great men in high places, to the inhabitants of the earth, and to foretell that which shall befall their cities, villages, nations, countries, and kingdoms—to foretell all these things, not by your wisdom, nor by the spirit of false prophecy, but by the power of that Spirit which rested on Enoch in ancient days. With such a qualification, you could go forth and perform the mission appointed to you acceptably in the sight of God.

What is the privilege of the servants of God that are remaining here in the midst of the settlements of Zion? It is our privilege to sanctify ourselves and have even greater power than those who go to the nations. Why? Because here is the great central place of gathering, and here should center all the powers of the everlasting Priesthood. Here, in our midst, should be poured out the blessings of that Priesthood to their fullest extent. Here the ser vants of God should be clothed upon from on high with the glory of God, and be able to foretell all things which would be for the welfare and benefit of the children of Zion. All these blessings belong to the Priesthood here.

You have the keys of the Priesthood; you have the key words of the Priesthood here; you have the signs of the Priesthood here; you have all the ordinances of the Priesthood here which have been revealed; you have learned the rules and laws of the Priesthood; and why not, ye Elders of Israel—ye servants of the Most High God, rise up in the power of the Priesthood and magnify your callings throughout the settlements in this Territory? Why give way to darkness, to debauchery, to low and degraded things, and mix with those who are calculated to fill you with the spirit of evil continually?

Why suffer a cloud of darkness to hover over your minds, even a cloud of thick darkness that is almost impenetrable? Why suffer your faith to die away, that you cannot prevail with the heavens and obtain the blessings of the Priesthood revealed in the last days?

Awake, awake, O ye Elders of Israel, and be clothed with the spirit and power of your callings, and do the work assigned you, and prepare for the great day of the Lord, which is at hand.

I feel, in some measure, the importance of these things. It rests on my mind; it weighs me down by day, and oftentimes I lay awake at nights contemplating the greatness of our privileges and the backwardness of the Saints of God to claim them.

But I do not wish to occupy too much of the time. May God bless you! Amen.

The Ancient Gospel—Adam’s Transgression, and Man’s Redemption From Its Penalty, &c

A Sermon by Elder Orson Pratt, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, September 11, 1859.

It is my intention this forenoon, if the Lord will assist me by his Spirit, to say a few words upon the principles of the Gospel; or, in other words, the first principles of that great plan of salvation which was devised before the foundation of the world, for the benefit of the inhabitants of this earth. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is of great antiquity. It was ordained in the councils of heaven before the world was, and all its principles, ordinances, promises, and blessings were instituted in the beginning, before man was placed upon the earth. These principles have been revealed to the human family in various ages of the world—not only revealed in the meridian of time by Jesus and the Apostles, but to generations and ages before the Apostles lived on the earth.

Before I commence investigating these principles, to know precisely what they are, I will read from some new revelations which were revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith in the month of December, 1830. They are revelations concerning Adam, Enoch, Noah, and the Gospel of salvation, as it was made manifest to them. That which I am about to read is an extract from the prophecy of Enoch—a book revealed by inspiration to the Prophet Joseph Smith, some twenty-nine years ago—

“And Enoch spake the words of God, and said, But God hath made known unto our fathers that all men must repent. And he called upon our father Adam by his own voice, saying: I am God; I made the world, and men before they were in the flesh. And he also said unto him: If thou wilt turn unto me, and hearken unto my voice, and believe, and repent of all thy transgressions, and be baptized, even by water, in the name of mine Only Begotten Son, which is full of grace and truth, which is Jesus Christ, the only name which shall be given under heaven, whereby salvation shall come unto the children of men, ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, asking all things in his name, and whatsoever ye shall ask, it shall be given you. And our father Adam spake unto the Lord, and said: Why is it that men must repent and be baptized by water? And the Lord said unto Adam: Behold I have forgiven thee thy transgression in the Garden of Eden. Hence came the saying abroad among the people, that the Son of God hath atoned for original guilt, wherein the sins of the parents cannot be answered upon the heads of the children, for they are whole from the foundation of the world.

“And the Lord spake unto Adam, saying: Inasmuch as thy children are conceived in sin, even so when they begin to grow up, sin conceiveth in their hearts, and they taste the bitter, that they may know to prize the good. And it is given unto them to know good from evil; wherefore they are agents unto themselves, and I have given unto you another law and commandment. Wherefore teach it unto your children, that all men, everywhere, must repent, or they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God, for no unclean thing can dwell there, or dwell in his presence; for, in the language of Adam, Man of Holiness is his name, and the name of his Only Begotten is the Son of Man, even Jesus Christ, a righteous Judge, who shall come in the meridian of time.

“Therefore I give unto you a commandment, to teach these things freely unto your children, saying: That by reason of transgression cometh the fall, which fall bringeth death, and inasmuch as ye were born into the world by water, and blood, and the spirit, which I have made, and so became of dust a living soul, even so ye must be born again into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten; that ye might be sanctified from all sin, and enjoy the words of eternal life in this world, and eternal life in the world to come, even immortal glory; For by the water ye keep the commandment; by the Spirit ye are justified, and by the blood ye are sanctified; Therefore it given to abide in you; the record of heaven; the Comforter; the peaceable things of immortal glory; the truth of all things; that which quickeneth all things, which maketh alive all things; that which knoweth all things, and hath all power according to wisdom, mercy, truth, justice, and judgment.

“And now, behold, I say unto you: This is the plan of salvation unto all men, through the blood of mine Only Begotten, who shall come in the meridian of time. And behold, all things have their likeness, and all things are created and made to bear record of me, both things which are temporal, and things which are spiritual; things which are in the heavens above, and things which are on the earth, and things which are in the earth, and things which are under the earth, both above and beneath: all things bear record of me.

“And it came to pass, when the Lord had spoken with Adam, our father, that Adam cried unto the Lord, and he was caught away by the Spirit of the Lord, and was carried down into the water, and was laid under the water, and was brought forth out of the water. And thus he was baptized, and the Spirit of God descended upon him, and thus he was born of the Spirit, and he became quickened in the inner man. And he heard a voice out of heaven, saying: Thou art baptized with fire, and with the Holy Ghost. This is the record of the Father, and the Son, from henceforth and forever; And thou art after the order of him who was without beginning of days or end of years, from all eternity to all eternity. Behold, thou art one in me, a son of God; and thus may all become my sons. Amen.”

I have read this that the Latter-day Saints who have not had the opportunity of reading these inspired translations of the Prophet may have an opportunity of learning the fact that the Gospel was revealed unto man in the earliest ages of our world. I will read also a short extract from the prophecy of Enoch in relation to a commandment and a mission given unto him—

“And it came to pass that the Lord said unto me: Look; and I looked, and beheld the land of Sharon, and the land of Enoch, and the land of Omner, and the land of Heni, and the land of Shem, and the land of Haner, and the land of Hanannihah, and all the inhabitants thereof; And the Lord said unto me: Go to this people, and say unto them—Repent, lest I come out and smite them with a curse, and they die. And he gave unto me a commandment that I should baptize in the name of the Father, and the Son, which is full of grace and truth, and of the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of the Father and the Son.”

Thus we see that not only Adam understood the principles of faith, repentance, baptism, the new birth, and the gift of the Holy Ghost; but Enoch also understood the same plan, and had authority given him to administer in the ordinances of it. We will now pass along to Noah, still reading from the new translation of the Old Testament, not translated by King James’ translators, but by the Prophet of the living God—translated by the gift and power of inspiration from on high—

“And in those days there were giants on the earth, and they sought Noah to take away his life; but the Lord was with Noah, and the power of the Lord was upon him.

“And the Lord ordained Noah after his order, and commanded him that he should go forth and declare his Gospel unto the children of men, even as it was given unto Enoch.

“And it came to pass that Noah called upon men that they should repent; but they hearkened not unto his words; And also, after they had heard him, they came up before him, saying: Behold, we are the sons of God; have we not taken unto ourselves the daughters of men? And are we not eating and drinking, and marrying and giving in marriage? Our wives bear unto us children, and the same are mighty men, which are like unto them of old, men of great renown. And they hearkened not to the words of Noah.

“And God saw that the wickedness of men had become great in the earth; and every man was lifted up in the imagination of the thoughts of his heart, being only evil continually.

“And it came to pass that Noah continued his preaching unto the people, saying: Hearken, and give heed unto my words; Believe and repent of your sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, even as our fathers, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, that ye may have all things made manifest; and if you do not this, the floods will come in upon you; nevertheless they hearkened not. And it repented Noah, and his heart was pained that the Lord had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.”

You recollect King James’ translators render it—“And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth;” but the translation given by inspiration says—“It repented Noah, and his heart was pained that the Lord had made man on the earth. And the Lord said, I will destroy man, whom I have created, from the face of the earth, both man and beast, and the creeping things, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth Noah that I have created them, and that I have made them, and he hath called upon me, and they have sought his life.”

These extracts which I have read concerning Adam, Enoch, and Noah you will find in a little work called “The Pearl of Great Price,” published by F. D. Richards, in England, a few years ago. We might go on and read further extracts from the Book of Abraham—a book also revealed by inspiration to the Prophet Joseph Smith, showing that the Gospel was revealed to him, and how he received the promise that all the children of men that would obey that same Gospel preached by him should be justified and become his children—called his seed, and heirs according to the promise. But I have read sufficient for the information of the Latter-day Saints upon this subject.

I know it is customary, at the present day, to select some passage of Scripture as a text upon which to make remarks. Sometimes I follow this custom, and sometimes I do not. I will just observe, however, that we have no examples on record that Jesus or his Apostles followed this plan in their preaching. Neither have we anything on record showing that Jesus or his Apostles opened their meetings by singing, and then praying, and then singing again, and then preaching. We frequently conform to the present-day custom in this respect, and we often do not conform to them, as we feel led by the Spirit of truth. Neither was it customary, in the days of the Apostles, to make long prayers; but if they had something very important to communicate to the people, they did not wish the time occupied in any other way only in delivering the message they had for them: hence we generally find their prayers consisting of a very few sentences.

I shall select this morning a text of Scripture corroborative of those I have already read. I shall select it from King James’ translation. You will find it in the Gospel according to John, 3rd chap., 5th verse—“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”

There is much comprehended in this passage that is not fully realized and understood by the great mass of the human family. To fully understand it, it is necessary we should understand the true condition of fallen man; then we shall see the necessity of a new birth: otherwise, perhaps, we should see no necessity for it. It is recorded in Scripture history that our first parents, while in the garden of Eden, transgressed a certain law and commandment of the Almighty, by partaking of a certain forbidden fruit; which transgression brought them under condemnation, and subjected them to a certain penalty, which was the death of their bodies of flesh and bones. “Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return,” was the penalty pronounced upon Adam. Pre vious to this, Adam was a pure, innocent being: he was not contaminated with sin, and was entirely destitute of the knowledge of good and evil. He was a being intended in his construction to endure for evermore. Death had no dominion over his tabernacle: the principle of blood which flows in the mortal tabernacles of men did not exist in his immortal body; but his veins and arteries contained a fluid of a far purer nature than that of blood: in other words, they were filled with the spirit of life, which was calculated to preserve them in immortality. Though they partook of various kinds of fruit in the garden, yet there was no fruit in that garden, except one called the forbidden fruit, which would have the least tendency to destroy the principles of immortality that reigned within them. They were organized to endure, bodies and spirits united, millions of ages. By the transgression of that simple law given to them, they fell from immortality to mortality: their bodies partook of disease; the seeds of death were sown within them; and in the day that Adam ate thereof (reckoning according to the Lord’s time), he passed away and returned to his mother dust.

The probability is, there were deleterious properties or poisonous qualities in the food he ate, which were calculated to introduce into the system the seeds of mortality, and so change it that various forces of nature should have power over it, that in time it should die and be dissolved to dust.

Was this the only penalty pronounced upon father Adam? No: this was only a part of the penalty. There was dwelling in each of the tabernacles of Adam and Eve a personage of spirit, formed of more refined materials than flesh and bones—materials that were intelligent, immortal, and eternal. Immaterialists of the present day may object to this: but we do not believe in an immaterial substance.

The spirits that dwelt in our first parents were capable of thinking, feeling, understanding, perceiving, acting, possessing a will and a judgment: in other words, they were a part of that great substance of life, or Spirit, which fills the immensity of space, that is in all things, and through all things. The spirit of man had also a penalty pronounced upon it, because it yielded to disobedience, by giving heed to the Tempter; for, by yielding to his teachings, it became subject to him as a servant.

If we become subject to a being, we are under his dominion and power, and he controls us and exercises authority over us, whether good or bad. Adam and Eve had placed themselves in a condition that the Tempter had complete control over their spirits: they became servants to the fallen angels, to do according to their bidding.

Let us now examine how the fall affected their posterity. We do not inherit Adam’s transgression, but the consequences of it. There is a difference between inheriting the original sin and feeling the consequences of it. To illustrate: We do not say, when children inherit the diseases of their parents brought on by drunkenness, debauchery, lasciviousness, and wickedness of every description, that it is the effect of the children’s individual sins. This is not so: they only inherit the consequences of the sins of the parents. So it is with all the posterity of Adam. The consequences of the transgression of Adam and Eve have flowed down upon us; hence we find that all the sons and daughters of Adam have become mortal. The seeds of dissolution are within our tabernacles, because our first parents sinned, and yet we are not guilty of their sins.

Furthermore, Adam and Eve be came subject in the spirit to the being that tempted him. The children that were begotten by him, inheriting unholy, fallen tabernacles, also became subject to the same being, on the supposition that there had been no atonement provided. Hence you perceive the baneful consequences of the fall, considered separate and apart from any atonement which was to be made.

Next let us inquire as to the duration of the penalty. Was the penalty to cease at the end of a certain period? I want you to look at this, independent of any considerations of the atonement. If there had been no atonement provided, the bodies of our first parents, as well as the bodies of all their children, would have crumbled back to their mother earth, to rise no more. Would not that have been an eternal death of the flesh and bones? If there were no atonement, there could be no resurrection. How could man, being fallen and corrupted, atone for his own sins? He could not do it. How could he deliver himself from the power of Satan to whom he had made himself subject? He could not do it. Satan had claim upon him, and there was no power in man, in the least degree, to redeem himself from that bondage.

This is what we call fallen man, and this is what we call spiritual death—not a dissolution or disorganization of the spiritual elements, but the subjection of the spirit to the power of Satan as eternal in its duration as the subjection of the flesh and bones to death.

Now let us take into consideration for a few moments the great plan which God devised before Adam was placed in the garden of Eden in order to redeem man. God, by his foreknowledge, beheld that man would fall from his first estate, by turning aside from his commandments—that he would bring upon himself an eternal death both of body and spirit. Now is the opportunity for mercy to step in. Justice had consigned them to eternal death and misery, and mercy could not step in without destroying the claims of justice, only upon certain conditions. And what may be those conditions? Would God accept the sacrifice of a corrupted, sinful, degraded, fallen being as an atonement for his own sins? No; that would not satisfy the demands of justice. God could not exhibit the attribute of mercy on any principle whatsoever, only for a sinless being to suffer in behalf of sinful man. Inasmuch as the sin was against an infinite being—a transgression of a law issued by an infinite being, the atonement must be an infinite atonement. Hence God sent forth his only begotten Son in the meridian of time, who took upon himself the form of fallen man: that is, he entered into a tabernacle of flesh and bones, although he had not been guilty of the original sin. This he did voluntarily on his part.

For the edification of the Saints, I will refer to a passage in the inspired translation of the book of Abraham, where we read that in the counsels of eternity, before the foundation of the world, the Lord devised the great plan of salvation. When he came to that part of it, in relation to the future redemption of man, which pertains to a sacrifice, he made an inquiry—“Whom shall we send?” He did not feel, as it were, willing to say to anyone of the council, You are the person, and you must go and make this atonement: he did not seem willing to exercise this authority upon an innocent being, but looked around upon the assembly as though he would have someone to volunteer. “And one answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me.” Here, then, was an offer on the part of the Son of God, the Firstborn—“I will go and redeem the human family upon the conditions that thou hast devised.”

But how could he go and redeem them? He could not redeem them, unless he suffered for them and in their behalf. The penalty of death had passed upon them. His father might have reasoned with him in words something like these—If you, a pure sinless being, my only begotten Son, are willing to go and take upon you the same kind of body that the fallen sons of men have taken upon themselves—a fallen body of flesh and bones, subject to pain, disease, sickness, temptation, and finally death, and offer yourself as a sacrifice (although it is not required of you, for you have committed no sin that I should cause death to come on your body; yet if you do this voluntarily, and keep my commandments in all things, and not sin against me), I will accept the sacrifice which you make in behalf of your younger brethren; and I will have mercy on them, otherwise no mercy can be shown to them: justice must have its full effect, and they must suffer eternal misery, being captive to that being whom they have consented to obey.

Here, then, was the principle in which could be made manifest mercy in behalf of the fallen sons and daughters of men. When could this principle of mercy begin to be exercised? Could it be exercised before the blood of the atonement was shed? Yes. There was the free, voluntary offer of the Son of God to do all this work, and suffer and die for his brethren, before man was placed in the garden: hence, in the mind of God, it was just the same as though it had actually been fulfilled. Therefore he is called a lamb slain, as it were, before the foundation of the world: hence he could have mercy on Adam, on Enoch, on Noah, on Abraham, on the Prophets, and on the children of men while the earth should stand, because of the atonement that was to be made in the meridian of time.

But the great question for us to consider, on this occasion, is, in what way the fallen sons and daughters of men can be made partakers of the benefits of this atonement? Are they to be unconditionally redeemed by the blood of Christ? Is it to be done by free grace alone, without any works on the part of the creature? Or are there required on the part of the man certain conditions by which the atoning blood of Christ can have effect upon him? I will answer this question. The atonement of Jesus Christ redeems mankind, so far as the fall is concerned, unconditionally. Now, I want you all to understand this clearly. There is no faith, repentance, baptism, or works of any kind required on the part of man to be redeemed from the fall, or from the sins committed by our first parents. Not one of you are guilty because Adam and Eve sinned. Did you eat the forbidden fruit? Were you there, on that occasion, to put forth your hand, and take of that fruit, and eat of it? The united response of all the world in this and all generations of man would be—“We were not there.” You are not condemned for a sin you did not commit. Can you repent of something you never have done? I defy the whole world to repent of Adam’s sin, for they never committed it. You did not exercise your agency on that occasion: why, then, not be redeemed from it without exercising your agency? Why not be redeemed by free grace alone, without works? Why be required to believe, repent, and be baptized for Adam’s sin? It would be foolishness. The atonement of Jesus Christ will redeem every son and daughter of Adam from his day down to the end of the earth, so far as that sin is concerned. Hence, all little children have been redeemed from the fall, and are perfectly innocent and pure before God. The original sin is not imputed to them. Why? Because of the atonement. The atonement is just as broad as the original sin and the effects of it. If the original sin extends its effects to the latest generations of Adam, so the atonement will extend its effects to all his posterity, and redeem them from these consequences. But you may inquire, If we are to be redeemed from Adam’s sin and its consequences, unconditionally, by the atonement, shall we not be restored into the condition Adam was in before he fell? I answer, You will be. What condition was he in? He was an immortal being, and you will be restored to immortality, whether you be Saints or sinners. The decree has gone forth that every man is to be raised to immortality. Then you will be as Adam was in the garden of Eden before he fell.

Furthermore, Adam, before he fell, was in the presence of God, and could behold the face of his Maker, hear his voice, look upon his glory, behold his angels, and associate with those pure and holy beings. Will you be restored, back to the presence of God? Yes, after the resurrection; for Jesus says, “if I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me”—that is, lift them up from their graves, and bring them into his presence, to stand before the bar of his judgment. What for? To be judged. For Adam’s sin? No. We have nothing to do with that sin in the day of judgment; but we shall be brought before the bar of God, and be restored from the fall, with flesh and bones, but not blood, and be capable of enduring forever and ever; and there we shall behold the face of our God and of Jesus Christ, and the face of his angels, and be able to converse with them, and hear them converse, as Adam did before the fall. Is not this a complete restoration? Yes.

Now I want to tell you of something that will come a little closer home than Adam’s sin. Every man or woman upon the face of this globe, that has come to the years of understanding and accountability, has committed sin himself or herself. You have had commandments given to you as well as our first parents had. The holy law has issued from heaven to us, and penalties have been affixed. And when we come up to years of understanding and accountability, we transgress the holy law and commandment given us from heaven, even as Adam transgressed the first law in the garden of Eden.

Now let us consider the consequence of this second transgression. God has given a law to the posterity of Adam, after coming to a knowledge of good and evil by the fall, that they should not do evil. If he has given a strict law that we shall not do evil, you may depend upon it he has affixed a strict penalty to it; for what would a law be good for without a penalty? What is the penalty? It is, that if the posterity of Adam shall do evil, they shall, after the resurrection, be banished again from the presence of God, and from the glory of his power; they shall endure the pains of the second death. The violation of the first law given to Adam brought the first death, and the violation of the second law given to the posterity of Adam will bring the second death, which is the penalty attached to it. How are we going to help ourselves? We have all sinned after we came to the years of accountability. When we were little children, we were perfectly pure, even as the angels of God; and of such, said Jesus, is the kingdom of heaven, being redeemed from the fall by the atonement. But are we redeemed from our own actual sins? We have used our agency in committing these actual sins, and we have no excuse to plead. We could justly excuse ourselves in relation to the sin committed by Adam, but there is no excuse in relation to breaking these second commandments. We have violated them with our eyes open. Can we escape the penalty? Says one, There is the atonement. Yes, that is true; but will that have effect to redeem us from this second death and banishment unconditionally on our part? No. If we are redeemed from this second penalty, it will be by exercising our agency—by complying with certain conditions; and these conditions I intend to lay before you, which are called the Gospel.

I think I have pointed out, as clearly as my feeble language will permit, the condition of the whole human family, so far as it regards their fallen state, and so far as it regards their own individual transgressions. I have tried to be simple in my explanations.

What are the conditions by which we are to be redeemed from our own actual sins and escape this second penalty? After being redeemed from the grave and brought back into the presence of God and angels, what would be more terrifying than to hear the words, “Depart, ye cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels?” Unpleasant as this would be, it must be pronounced, if God is a God of truth and holiness: his justice must take effect; and, notwithstanding the atonement, there is no way for him to exercise his mercy in behalf of the children of men, only through their agency. You can save yourselves through the atonement, or let it alone. Jesus has done his part: he has died for us—has got the plan all laid; his blood has been shed, and he has suffered the pains of all the children of men, and in their behalf, if they will only accept the conditions.

What is the first condition required of the human family? It is to believe in Jesus Christ as the true Redeemer, and in his Father as the true God. This condition stands before repentance, baptism, the sacrament, or keeping the Sabbath day holy; for no person can keep the Sabbath day holy until he complies with the Gospel. This faith or belief is the first principle of the Gospel. “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved,” says Jesus Christ; “and he that believeth not shall be damned.” Much has been said about faith. What is it? Many definitions have been given, but there is nothing more easy to be comprehended than faith. It is simply an act of the mind—a belief in those things that are true. It is also a simple act of the mind to believe those things which are not true. You may have a false faith or a true faith. Faith should be founded upon evidence. Where substantial evidence is presented to the mind, it should be received, and should produce faith in our minds. We should be very careful in regard to our faith, that we do not receive false evidence, for this would give us a false faith. I might refer you to many examples of false evidence producing a false faith. For instance, a few centuries ago, almost all the world believed that our earth did not turn upon its axis once in twenty-four hours from west to east; but they believed the sun, moon, and stars went round it once in twenty-four hours, and that the earth stood still. This was a false faith—the result of believing without sufficient evidence: they were guided by the tradition and popular testimony of the age. Copernicus set forth evidence in his day to prove that it was the earth that revolved on its axis, instead of the sun, moon, and stars revolving around the earth. The evidence he produced began to beget in the hearts of the people a true faith, which was founded upon true evidence; and since his day many demonstrations have been given to prove the great fact that it is the earth which moves, instead of the starry firmament. Upon that subject the world now have true faith, founded upon true evidence demonstrated to them.

So it is in regard to Jesus, the great Redeemer, and God his Father: evidence is granted to prove to us that there are such beings. Chosen vessels are called, and have their eyes opened to behold the Father and the Son, and go forth as witnesses to the inhabitants of the earth, and bear testimony of that fact, setting forth the doctrine of the Father and the Son. This evidence begets in the minds of the people a true faith, while a traditionary evidence often begets a false faith. For instance, Paul, previous to his conversion, was a zealous, good man as far as he understood. He went forth, being governed by his faith, to persecute the Church of the living God. He verily believed he ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus Christ, the Nazarene. He believed he was doing God service in putting the servants of Jesus Christ to death. He had a false faith, founded upon sufficient evidence. By-and-by he received a testimony for himself that Jesus was really and truly the Christ—that he was persecuting the followers of the true Redeemer. His faith now became corrected, a true faith was given him, and the testimony he received prepared him to bear witness of the fact to tens of thousands of others—not a secondhand testimony, but he could testify, My eyes have seen him; my ears have heard his voice; I have beheld his glory. He went forth as a witness goes forth into our courts of justice to testify that he knew positively, and not to testify what some other men had said, or to what some other person knew. Such witnesses go forth to the world, and their testimony produces faith in the minds of those who carefully weigh the evi dence. Believe that Jesus is, and that he has atoned for the children of men; believe that without his death and sufferings there could have been no forgiveness of sins; believe that his is the only name given under heaven whereby mankind can be saved. It is a principle requisite to the new birth.

My text informs us that unless a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he can in nowise enter into the kingdom of God. Before you can be born of water, you must have faith in such a principle as birth of water. “Faith,” says the apostle, “comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” That is, in ancient days they had no printing presses to circulate the written word, so that faith could come by reading: they produced faith by their verbal testimony in the hearts of their hearers who were honest, and who investigated the subjects laid before them. Will this faith alone save a person in the kingdom of God? No. This is only faith without works, such as devils have; and yet it is necessary in a true believer, to precede the works which he must perform. Devils believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and they believe it on good substantial testimony. Mankind are required to believe the same fact as well as the devils; but such faith will never save an individual without works: there are other conditions to be connected with it before he can be saved.

What is the next step? It is to repent of all our sins: we know what they are. These persons sitting before me, in this congregation, can look back upon the past years of their lives, and can reflect upon the many sins they have committed before God, that perhaps no other person living knows anything about. You can recollect many laws you have broken. Perhaps many of you have forgotten some of your transgressions; but in the next world they will be brought before you. But you can call to mind some of the most prominent evils and transgressions which you have committed. Have you taken the name of God in vain? What saith the law of God? “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.” Are there not many people in this city who have used that name in vain? Are there not many persons present this morning who have blasphemed His name? If there are, you are the persons I mean: you are the individuals who have need of repentance. You are the persons that must reform from this sin, or else your faith that Jesus is the Christ will do you no good. Are there any persons under the sound of my voice who have cheated their neighbor, and who have been dishonest in their dealings generally? Look within your own hearts; look back upon your past dealings with your neighbors in former days. Have you defrauded them out of the least particle of their property? If you have, you have broken the law of God—that law that was thundered from Mount Sinai by the voice of the trump of God—that law that was continued under the Christian dispensation—namely, the ten commandments. If you have coveted your neighbor’s property, or stolen, you have broken that portion of the law. It is just as bad to cheat a man out of his property as to go in the nighttime and secretly steal it from him. Both of these are strictly against the law of God, and the penalty of that law will be fulfilled upon every individual that has transgressed it. You cannot get from under it, only by repentance and restitution. What said Zaccheus in ancient times? He was very anxious to see Jesus Christ. He, no doubt, believed in him, and felt to repent, and said, “Lord, if I have wronged any man, I am ready to restore four fold.” Are you ready to do the same, you that have wronged your neighbors—that have dealt dishonestly and cheated them—you that have put forth your hand and taken your neighbor’s goods, or his money? If you have true repentance, you will go and restore fourfold; you will not only say to him, “Neighbor, I am sorry I have wronged you, and I will do so no more” (that would not be acceptable in the sight of God); but you will go and make restitution, which is the way Samuel the Prophet was willing to do before his death. After having lived to a good old age, he called together the mighty hosts of Israel, and said to them, “Behold, here I am: witness against me before the Lord, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it to you.” No man came forward to accuse the Prophet; and if there is no just accuser in time, there will be none in eternity but God and your conscience. If you know that you have wronged a man, your conscience will accuse you in the day of judgment. Repent of that sin, for repentance has got to be connected with your faith, or your faith is good for nothing. Again: Is there any man in this congregation who has committed adultery? That is against the law thundered by the voice of the trump of God in the midst of the lightnings and quakings of Mount Sinai. If you are guilty of that evil, repent of it, and turn to that God against whom you have offended, and confess your sins, and forsake them, and do that thing no more.

Are there any persons in this congregation who have murdered—who have shed innocent blood, and have done this in their ignorance of the law of God, or perhaps in the blindness of their minds, not knowing his law? There is a chance for you to repent. But if there is a person who has been enlightened by the Spirit of truth—a person who has received the gift of the Holy Ghost, and has put forth his hand to shed innocent blood, we do not call upon you to repent, for there is no repentance for you. It is a sin that you will have to meet before the bar of God. It is a sin for which there is no forgiveness in this world, nor in the world to come. It depends altogether how much light a murderer has before he commits the deed, as to his chance of forgiveness; but you have to suffer the penalty that is attached, which is death.

I am now preaching the first principles of the Gospel, and some of the most prominent sins of this generation I have named over before this congregation. Look abroad among the nations of the earth, and see the spirit of murder and bloodshed that exists in the hearts of millions towards their fellow men. Look at the feeling of this generation in regard to our youthful Prophet, who was martyred for his testimony and for the revelations he received from heaven. In the year 1844 he was smitten down by the hands of his enemies. Even they are called upon to repent, if they did not know any better—if they did it in their ignorance. But if they did it with their eyes open, we would say to such persons, “There is no repentance for you.” Perhaps, after they have suffered in the eternal worlds, there may be a possibility of some of those murderers who were not enlightened to find redemption at a certain period, and some degree of glory. This applies not only to those who put forth their hands to shed the blood of the servants of God, but to those who have sanctioned the deed: they are guilty also.

Are there any persons in this congregation who feel to sanction the shedding of the blood of innocent men in this generation? If you do, though you were not present to put forth your hand to stab the fatal blow, remember you are guilty. What said Jesus to the people in his day? “Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.” How is it that those who lived two thousand years ago had to answer the blood of the martyrs slain five or six thousand years ago? Because they sanctioned the deed by putting to death the living Prophets sent to them. When a man puts forth his hand to shed the blood of a living servant of God who bears testimony of the truth, and has been sent by authority of God, that man is guilty of the blood of all the servants of God who have been slain from the creation; and all who sanction the deed will have to be punished with those murderers that actually perpetrated the same.

There will be a great many murderers in this generation; for there are hundreds and thousands of pious, sanctified hypocrites in the pulpit, and editors of the press, and the people that feel to say, concerning the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith, I am glad of it; thank the Lord that they have killed him, &c., just as they said about Jesus in his day, and about all the Prophets in former times; and the blood of all these ancient martyrs will be required at their hands.

Murder is a prominent evil of this generation. And again, behold other prominent evils that exist in our large cities. Look at the city of New York, for instance, which contains twenty thousand female prostitutes, that get their daily living by prostitution, of course encouraged by hundreds of thousands of male prostitutes, who are just as bad or worse than the female prostitutes. Here is a sample of one city. Then go to Boston, Albany, St. Louis, New Orleans, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and to all the principal cities of the American Union, and you will find the same proportion of prostitutes among those cities who are sunk in the lowest depths of degradation, daily and hourly prostituting themselves, and disobeying one of the most strict and holy commandments of God ever issued from his throne; and this is only a beginning as it were. Read the statistics of the great city of London, which show there is in it something like ninety thousand female prostitutes; and all these must be encouraged and supported by millions of male prostitutes. This is carried on not for one year only or two years, but for a whole generation, and from generation to generation. Then step across into the European governments. Go into France, into Germany, Prussia, and all those old countries of the East, and you will find in many of those nations, as the statistics show, one-half of the children that are born to be illegitimate; and that is only a beginning of the corruptions that exist. There are more that are covered up in the dark, that are not made so publicly manifest, than what are made manifest by the births of illegitimate children. There are probably a hundred sins that are dark and hidden from the gaze of the public to one that comes to light. Then realize that these things have existed for generations that are past upon our earth, and then all reflecting men will think there is a necessity for the people to repent. Perhaps someone may say, I am not guilty of these things. But have you ever done anything to prevent them? Have the wise legislators and representatives of those nations ever devised any laws to put a stop to this wickedness? If they have not, they are included in the guilt. Whether they are actually engaged in these crimes or not, they will be included among the guilty ones, while they suffer these things when it is in their power to stop them. How can you stop them? Let the lawmaking departments of those various governments enact laws that shall put an utter stop to them. What law should they enact to stay this flood of iniquity? Not a law that can be trampled upon with impunity by millions; but let it be the law pointed out in the Scriptures—namely, the law of death. Let the penalty of death be attached to your laws, and let it be put in force upon the adulterer and the whoremonger, both male and female; and if you do not find these floods of prostitution assuaged, then you may depend upon it that I do not understand these things. You would find these prostitutions become as rare as murders, if you have the same penalty attached. Death was the penalty for the sin of adultery in ancient days, and the enlightened of Europe and of all Christendom pretend to found their criminal laws, more or less, on the Bible. All these sins and crimes need to be repented of.

After a man has repented, will his faith and repentance bring the forgiveness of sins through the atonement? Are these all the conditions required? No. You may confess your sins; but if you never make restitution to the persons you have wronged, your confession will be of no service. You may confess your sins to the Lord, and promise him you will never sin any more, and after all your sins will not be forgiven. Why? Because he has ordained a still further condition. And what is that? Be baptized for the remission of sins. Now, says one, is there anything in that ordinance that actually atones for the sins of the people? Baptism does not atone for a single sin. Then how is it that the sins are remitted after it? Because of the atonement of Jesus Christ—because he has opened the way whereby these conditions can be granted to the creature—because the gifts of faith, repentance, and baptism have been granted to you through the atonement; and these are the conditions on which your sins can be pardoned. Is that all? No. If you stop there, you are lost. You have only a forgiveness of past sins; you are not a new creature: you must be born, not only of water (which is baptism for the remission of sins), but you must be born of the Spirit also, or you cannot inherit the kingdom of God.

I will give you some few ideas in relation to baptism for the remission of sins. This is instituted of the Lord our God as the birth of the water. There are a great many things we cannot give reasons for, because we do not know them ourselves. We have no knowledge why such and such ordinances are instituted and revealed; but when we come to baptism, we can tell why that was revealed: we can understand the reason, because God has revealed it. If he had not, we should be in the dark relating to it.

In the passage from the new translation which I read at the commencement of my remarks, we find the first teachings of the Gospel to Adam—“That inasmuch as they (thy children) were born into the world by the fall which bringeth death, by water, and blood, and the spirit, which I have made, and so become of dust a living soul, even so ye must be born again of water, and the Spirit, and cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten.” This is in order that you may become a new creature, otherwise you cannot inherit the kingdom of God. One thing is instituted because of the other. How came we with these mortal bodies, corrupted and degraded? Because of the fall. We are born into the world, through the fall, with the particular kind of bodies we inherit. When we came into this world, we were born out of the watery elements into the element of air. We also partook of the blood, when we were in embryo, that flowed through the veins and arteries of our mothers, and from thence circulated through our embryo tabernacles: our infant tabernacles were also quickened by the human spirit; and thus, by the water and by the blood, and by the human spirit, we were born naturally a living soul into a world of death. If we would be restored from this fallen state, and become a new creature, it must be by baptism—the new birth—the birth of the water, the atoning blood of Jesus, and the birth of the Spirit—all three corresponding to the water, blood, and spirit of man that enters into the tabernacle; one thing corresponding to another—one principle to another; and hence the ordinance of baptism was instituted, that man might be brought forth from the liquid element of water, which is called a birth, the same as the child is brought forth from the same element in the womb into the air; and as the child is quickened by the human spirit taking possession of the embryo tabernacle, so must the individual that comes from the watery element be quickened by the Holy Spirit, and be prepared to enter into the kingdom of God—one thing being in the likeness of the other. And as, through trans gression, the blood has brought death into the world, so by the blood of Jesus Christ we must be sanctified, that eternal life may come into the world—one thing answering to the other. Hence we can see the propriety of the new birth that is spoken of in the fifth verse of the third chapter of John.

How definite are the remarks of our Redeemer to Nicodemus on this subject—“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” No man can get there without both of these births—the birth of the water, or baptism for the remission of sins; and baptism by the Holy Ghost, or the new birth of the Spirit. Both of these must be received, or we fail to enter into that kingdom which is called the kingdom of God. How many in this congregation have not complied with these conditions? Are there any individuals here who believe that Jesus Christ is the only name given under heaven whereby you may be saved, that believe in his atoning blood? If there are, to you I say, Repent of all your sins (if you have not repented of them already), and then be baptized in water for the remission of them, and come forth again out of the water born unto newness of life, that you may be filled with the Holy Ghost, or be immersed with the Spirit of truth, that you henceforth may live in newness of life, and then you can enter into the kingdom of God. And you may set it down as one of those immutable principles that cannot be moved, that you never can get there without obeying these conditions. You may flatter yourselves as much as you please to the contrary; you cannot get there on any other terms, unless you can prove Jesus Christ an impostor.

But, says one, did not the thief on the cross get there? No. He turned to Jesus in his expiring moments, and said unto him, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him—“Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” And where is that? Is it in the kingdom of God? Let us inquire into this matter. We find that paradise, according to the definitions given by the most eminent writers, is a place of departed spirits. Where did Jesus go? Peter said he went to preach to the spirits in prison, while his body was in the tomb. The Church of England, in one of their articles, say that Jesus Christ suffered death and descended into hell, and after three days he rose again and ascended to his Father. What did he go there for? Peter says to preach the Gospel to them that were dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh. Did the thief go with him? Yes: “This day shalt thou be with me in paradise;” and there I will preach to you among the rest. But to enter the mansion where God dwells, and where the holy angels dwell, you must be born of water and of the Spirit, or you cannot enter that kingdom. Adam could not go there; Enoch could not; Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and the Prophets, none of them could get into that kingdom without being born of water and the Spirit. This astonished Nicodemus; and Jesus said—“Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?”—as much as to say, the new birth had been unfolded to the people since the beginning of man, and handed down from generation to generation, and yet you are “a master in Israel,” and do not know these things! It was the only way of salvation before Jesus came, and it was the only way after he came. And these ordinances must be administered by properly authorized persons. But as time will not admit us to make remarks on this point, we conclude by bearing testimony that the great God has restored this same plan or system of things, by which you can be born of water and the Spirit by legal administrators—by those who have received power and authority from heaven, from under the hands of holy angels. This is the testimony we have to bear to all nations. It is the testimony we have borne far beyond these United States. We have crossed the great ocean into foreign countries, and borne this testimony in many lands. I see sitting before me hundreds in this assembly that have crossed the ocean and come to these Rocky Mountains to settle with the Saints of God, to live or to die with them if necessary. You heard the servants of God bear testimony in your native countries, that holy angels had been sent from heaven, clothed with authority and power, who laid their hands upon chosen vessels, and restored the authority and Apostleship again to the earth, in order that people might be baptized; for they could not be born of water unless the administrator had authority to administer. If a man undertake to administer the ordinance of baptism, and he is only called by his fellow men, it would not be worth anything. It would not be legal in the great judgment day. A person cannot be born again legitimately without a legal administrator. If you are born of the Spirit, there must needs be a man authorized to administer that Spirit. Paul says, “Who hath also made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” Why? Because he was authorized to lay his hands on baptized believers, and confirm upon them the gift of the Holy Ghost, that they might be born of the Spirit and become new creatures.

In the last days the same Apostle-ship has been restored, and you are the witnesses of the servants of God that occupy these seats. We may say thousands of the people in this territory are witnesses that this authority is restored. How do you know? Did you see the angel? No. Did you have a heavenly vision? How do you know that these are the servants of God—that angels have come from heaven and restored the Apostleship? You answer, We believed their testimony on good substantial evidence, but we did not know it to be true; we acted on our faith, repented of our sins, were baptized, and the administrator laid his hands on our heads, and confirmed the Holy Ghost upon us. Did you receive it? Yes, and we received a perfect knowledge that they were the servants of God. This is what Luke means when he says, “And we are witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.”

Now, strangers, if you want to obtain a knowledge that this work is of God, obey the word of God, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost; and when you receive that gift, you will know: you will be beyond belief, so far as that one thing is concerned. You will know that this is the truth which we have told you: you will know that an angel of God has been sent from heaven; that the Book of Mormon is a Divine revelation—the history of ancient America, containing the Gospel preached in ancient times in this land; that God has raised up his kingdom on earth for the last time; that this is the winding-up dispensation; and that the great day of the Lord is at hand. This you will know through the administration of the ordinances of the Gospel.

Are you willing to try it? Are you willing to believe our testimony? We say to infidels—you who do not know whether there is a God or not, test our words and prove them whether they are true or not. If you do as we tell you, you shall know there is a God—that this is his work—that these testimonies given by the servants of God are testimonies given for your benefit, to prepare you for the great day of his coming. Infidels and all other men may know whether this work is true or not. You can prove whether we are false teachers or not. We set these things before you: comply with them, and the blessing is yours, as sure as the Lord lives and reigns on his eternal throne. But if you do not comply with them, you cannot know until it is too late. May God bless those that are inquiring after the truth, and all that obey it, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Inspiration—Importance of Heeding the Revelations of God, Etc.

A Discourse by President Heber C. Kimball, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, Sunday, September 11, 1859.

Brethren and Sisters—I want to talk a little to you from actual duty. There are things upon my mind, not only now, but at many times, that trouble me. I am satisfied that I am pretty faithful in regard to warning this people to keep the commandments of God. All things that are good are for us to do according to the dictations of the Holy Ghost.

Brother Pratt was telling about the ten commandments, which are all very good. But I believe that there are at least as many commandments as there are words in the English language. Jesus and his disciples both said—“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

You believe in the living oracles of God that are appointed to communicate to us daily and hourly. These oracles are clothed upon with the holy Priesthood, which is given to enable us to receive revelations to guide and lead us aright every day.

We are instructed in the Scriptures to contend for that faith which was once delivered to the Saints, and which inspired them with dreams and visions, tongues and the interpretation thereof. Pray, tell me who is capable of interpreting an unknown tongue without inspiration? It cannot be done, except the person be dictated by the Holy Ghost. How can I discern that a man is wrong, or that he is corrupt, except I have the Spirit of revelation? I cannot do it. How can President Young discern that there is an evil designed against him, unless he has the Spirit of revelation? He cannot know it beforehand, except it is revealed to him.

Now, I assuredly know it to be true that angels are ministering spirits to minister to men who are heirs of salvation.

Now, God says, in another part of his word, that he will reason with us. But how will he do this, unless we are submissive like clay in the hands of the potter? He says he will do it before the world, the philosophers, the kings, and the nobles. He says he will do it before all these, if we will be subject to him. We have all been to see a theatrical performance; but you don’t see it, except you look. Well, a prompter is there; for sometimes the performers forget their pieces: then the prompter is ready to help them out, as he stands behind the veil. Just so it is with angels. They are not in sight; we do not see them; but in the very hour that we need them they are here as the ministers of the covenant to inspire and guide us aright. I know this, gentlemen, just as well as I know that I am here today: I know it by the senses that God has given me.

I have been led to touch upon this thing by the dictation of the Holy Spirit; but there are other things essential to our salvation.

Yes, I feel many times to weep and am sorrowful, and I can hardly sleep at night; and if I had Gabriel’s trump, I would speak to the Saints of all nations, and I would say, Gather! gather! and do not wait even for a handcart to be made. I feel this in my soul. Do the world believe it? Do the Latter-day Saints believe it? No. Many of them are lifeless, and have no energy at all.

Here is brother N. V. Jones: he expects to start on a foreign mission in a few days, and I believe he never felt so well in his life. He is going to wake up the people in Europe.

There are a great many of the Saints coming here this year—many of those men that have never gathered with us—men that have been wandering about in the States, and that have almost entirely lost the Spirit of the Lord; and there are some that have previously turned away—apostatized. They are coming back, and that one circumstance makes me think there is trouble near at hand. I never knew it to fail yet.

When I get up to speak here, I do not do it for the sake of hearing myself talk or to please myself, but to do my duty and please God, for I am his servant. I wish to exhort you to be faithful—to be diligent and watchful. There is nothing to prevent your living near to God and having the light of revelation constantly within you. If your eyes were single to the glory of God, you would see things as they are—you would know and understand your duty.

When I look through this Territory and see what there is in existence, and when I consider that it was given through Joseph Smith, by revelation, that we should let our garments be the workmanship of our own hands, and that we should take care of our grain, I feel sorrowful. You may take the people north of this city, in Davis County, in Ogden and Box Elder, and they have not got wheat enough to last them till next harvest, if they do not sell another bushel. If you were keeping the commandments, you would not sell a particle.

When the pioneers came here, President Young counseled the brethren respecting laying up their grain against a time of famine and sorrow. They were very short of provisions in Ogden last season: some of them had not a particle of breadstuff, and I had to lend the people flour. Bishop West told me that if I did not, the people would suffer much; and it is just so in Box Elder and Davis counties; and that is what is bearing so heavily upon my mind; and you will see sorrow yet, if you neglect the counsel of God through his servants. I fear you will.

Here is an army—probably 6,000 or 7,000, with the employees and attachees; and they have got to be fed. I have no objection to their having wheat and flour; but they cannot have mine, while my brethren may be without bread. Do you hear it? Listen, all ye ends of the earth! I will give you enough to keep you alive, gentlemen, just as you do when men start on the Plains. The Scriptures say—“He that does not provide for his own household has denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”

Who are my brethren and sisters? You that have obeyed the same Gospel, received the same Holy Spirit and the same Priesthood that I have. You are connected with me by that Priesthood; you are connected with God; I am connected with you; I am also connected with President Young, in holding the keys and the Priesthood of the Almighty. And, O ye Elders of Israel and Saints of latter days, why do you not wake to these things? What do you suppose you will do when you have sold all your bread? Will gold or silver keep you alive? Will whiskey keep you alive? Or will any other liquor? Bread is the staff of life which God has spoken of in his word. Then why do you expend it for those things that you can do without, or that your wives and daughters can make? Will you still do it? I know we do it, and I cannot help or avoid it in my family. I presume it costs me about as much to supply my family and those that labor for me with coffee, tea, and sugar as most men in this community.

I have got considerable stock also; and all you that want my stock, make it known. I have many mules, horses, and cattle; and you can have them all, if you will furnish me the wheat. But if you do this, you will see the day when you will be sorry. I say to the President of this Stake of Zion, brother Daniel Spencer, and also to the Apostles, and to all Saints, Wake up, and lay up your grain, and let your finery go where it belongs; for that is where it will go, and you cannot avoid it.

How many friends am I going to get for telling these things? The friendship of every good Saint, and of God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ; and the angels will sustain me when I speak in the name of the Father and the Son, and by their authority. There are more in heaven for us than there are anywhere else against us; and there are millions more of men and women in heaven saved than there are people on the earth.

I have now done my duty. I have told of these things for years. Some inquire, “Why don’t President Young say more about them?” Simply because he has spoken and reiterated these things in your ears till he is ashamed. Do you think our enemies will get his wheat? No, they will not. If they were to go to him tomorrow, and offer him ten dollars per bushel, they would not get it. Neither will they get mine. But I will tell you what I have done: I have stepped forward and handed men bread when they wanted to leave the Church. But I would not do that now.

This is an important day in which we are living.

You may make what you please of this kind of preaching: it is the Gospel of salvation, and it has brought us into the fold of Christ; and let us take care of the sheep that are in the fold. We are here in the tops of the mountains, and here is where we shall stay, and all hell cannot get us out until the Lord God says, “Come out!” Now you may set your hearts at rest.

I am astonished, when I look upon the people of the United States, that they are not more friendly to us. They stand ready to debauch and destroy this people. They want the money—the gold and the silver, that the people have, and which you know is the god of this world; but I am not going to employ them. If I cannot raise more than five hundred dollars, I will send one of my boys; and if he has not money enough to purchase a load of goods, my team can live upon the Plains and haul part of a load for somebody else; for I am determined to transport my own goods, unless I can buy them as cheap here. Uncle Sam’s troops drove our men off the road from the stations they had located, when we calculated on running a daily express from here to the States and importing our own goods. Do you think I fear the world? Why should I? I have done nothing to be afraid of; and all the feelings that the wicked can have arise on account of our keeping their troops back at Bridger till they got cooled off; and we did that hand somely. And then, when they came in, they were very tame; and they would not have been otherwise, if it had not been for some of our federal officials. The army has been so much more gentlemanly than some of those officials that have come to execute the law, that I am ashamed; and I give the army the credit for that much.

“Well, now,” says one, “you had better hold your tongue, Mr. Kimball.” I shall when I get ready. I have no feelings of hardness, nor disposition to hurt anyone. Some seem to have a spite against the gamblers; but, bless you, they are some of the best of the camp followers. I am ashamed of the acts of some of you Elders of the Church. You ought to be had in remembrance in the courts of heaven. Were they sent here to lead you into such practices? What were those judges sent here for? Not to teach this people, but to bring up those murderers and handle them, and to send all the thieves to prison, and punish them for their crimes. This is what you are sent for, you judges, and you marshals, and all the rest of you officials; and why don’t you do your duty? Now I wish there was a lawyer here to tell me whether I have committed treason or not!

For instance, here is Dr. Bernhisel—just as good a man as ever lived upon the earth. We have sent him four times to Washington. Did he go as our master? No; but he went as our servant to importune the Government of the United States for our rights. Bless you, the rights we ask are ours: they are mine: our fathers fought for them! Well, he went as our servant, and not as our master; and these judges are sent here by James Buchanan; and if they had done their duty, they would have had scores of you transgressors of the law in prison, and some on the scaf fold. They should make you amenable to the laws of this Territory as well as those of the United States.

Gentlemen officials, you came to execute our laws. This is the way, as Mr. Hord said to me yesterday—“I am of your opinion, Mr. Kimball, when a man is among the Romans, he should do as the Romans do. When we go to the polls, go with the voice of the people.” “Yes,” said I; “and when we go to your States and Territories, we should do the same, and be subject to your laws, just as you should be subject to our laws; and so should all ministers that are sent to preach and administer justice and righteousness.”

Now, have I committed treason this afternoon? No, gentlemen, I have not. What do they want to kill us for? They are from the same father. Now, we want to obey the laws of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and get the Spirit of God; and because of this they are our enemies. It is the same as it was with the family of Jacob, and he was the friend of God; and because Joseph was in favor with God and with his father, his brethren hated him. It was particularly so with Joseph. His own brothers hated him; but the Lord honored him, and he lived to see his father and brethren bow down to him; and the king of Egypt honored him, and bowed to his wisdom. And so the nations will bow to this kingdom, sooner or later, and all hell cannot help it. Then, gentlemen, why don’t you make peace? You will be glad to make peace, for the wicked will see earthquakes, pestilence, and famine; for they have caused thousands of men, women, and children to go to premature graves. And Thomas H. Benton said, “Give them hell, and sweep them off the earth.” When we were in our wagons, Senator Benton advocated this.

I say to the Saints, Live your reli gion, stop your murmuring, take care of your crops, lay up your grain. I shall do it.

Now, you women, go to work, as far as it is in your power to do it, and do not be constantly teasing your husbands to dispose of their grain. What better are you than I? I came here with good homemade calfskin boots on, and why can’t you be contented with homemade clothes as well as I? You are no better than I am, and I know you can do these things.

I try to carry out this counsel that I am giving to you; and not many years will pass away before you will see the result of these things, and you that are wise will go to work and act as though you believed what I say. My sorrow is that trouble will come upon you unawares, in consequence of your neglect of these counsels. I have no objections to your selling your grain, but I want you to sell it to your brethren, and not to those that will cut your throats. If you do not want to sustain me, sustain one another.

How do you look, you who hold the Priesthood, going through the streets drunk, and in company with those who are constantly planning for the destruction of this people? I mean you that are guilty of these offenses. Those that are not guilty know that my remarks are not for them.

God bless the righteous—the peacemaker! and God bless the honorable man that comes here and does unto us as he wishes us to do unto him. Come to me, ye men that do not profess to believe “Mormonism:” I am the lad to make you comfortable and happy. But let me live, do good, and work righteousness. I will do this, whether you are willing or not, God helping me.

I say, Peace be upon the righteous, and upon every man that is willing to do as he would like to be done by! But if you desire this blessing, don’t come here and interfere with our rights, when you are sent by the Government to see that murderers and robbers are brought to justice, and dealt with according to the laws. I want you to understand this now, for I am a lawyer, and I understand as much about it as any of you.

God bless you, in the name of Jesus Christ! Amen.

[After resuming his seat, President Kimball again arose and said]—I just want to say a few words to the Elders of Israel, and to the daughters of Zion. If you wish to manifest your faith, go and prove that you have faith by your works; for I would not give a dime for all the faith there is without works. Let each man go to with his might, and lay up his grain, and not preach about that which he is not doing himself. This is my religion. If you follow my counsel, God will bless you and increase you in the comforts of life; and let the world know it. This is all I have to say at present.

Providences of God—Privileges and Duties of the Saints—Spiritual Operations and Manifestations—The Spirit World, &c

Remarks by President Brigham Young, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, September 1, 1859.

I wish you to understand and practice the lessons you have already received, or you cannot consistently look for more. And do not become tired or discouraged if you cannot learn your lessons all at once, for with diligent and close application you can learn how to live to all eternity, which is the object of our being here. Be patient; do not murmur at the dealings of Providence. The Lord rules in the heavens and works his pleasure upon the earth. Can you comprehend the meaning of the Prophet Amos in the question, “Shall there be evil in the city, and the Lord hath not done it?” His providences are constantly ruling and overruling, to a greater or less degree, in the affairs of the children of men. Do all people discern and understand that his providences are over the workmanship of his hands, and that he controls all things? No, they do not. The lessons you have been taught tend to instruct you upon these points.

Can this people understand that the Lord—that Being we call our Father, as also the Gods and all heavenly beings, lives upon the principles that pertain to eternity? Can the people comprehend that there is not, has not been, and never can be any method, scheme, or plan devised by any being in this world for intelligence to eternally exist and obtain an exaltation, without knowing the good and the evil—without tasting the bitter and the sweet? Can the people understand that it is actually necessary for opposite principles to be placed before them, or this state of being would be no probation, and we should have no opportunity for exercising the agency given us? Can they understand that we cannot obtain eternal life unless we actually know and comprehend by our experience the principle of good and the principle of evil, the light and the darkness, truth, virtue, and holiness—also vice, wickedness, and corruption? We must discern and acknowledge that the providences of the Lord are over all the works of his hands—that when he produces intelligent beings he watches over them for their good. He has given human beings an intelligence designed to become eternal, self-existent, independent, and as Godlike as any being in the heavens.

To answer such design, we are given our agency—the control of our belief, and must know the darkness from the light and the light from the darkness, and must taste the bitter as well as the sweet.

You need exhorting rather than teaching. You have been taught doctrine in abundance, and I have sometimes thought it a pity the Lord has revealed quite as much as he has. And I can truly say that I believe, if I am guilty in any one point in my walk before this people, it is in telling them things they are not worthy of—that I have given unto them things that they could not receive. For this reason I deem it mainly needful to stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance.

Brother Spencer referred to the carelessness and forgetfulness of the people, and to how prone we are to get out of the way, to depart from the love, enjoyment, peace, and light that the Spirit of the Lord and of our religion gives unto us. We should live so as to possess that Spirit daily, hourly, and every moment. That is a blessing to us, which makes the path of life easy. For a man to undertake to live a Saint and walk in darkness is one of the hardest tasks that he can undertake. You cannot imagine a position that will sink a person more deeply in perplexity and trouble than to try to be a Saint without living as a Saint should—without enjoying the spirit of his religion. It is our privilege to so live as to enjoy the spirit of our religion. That is designed to restore us to the presence of the Gods. Gods exist, and we had better strive to be prepared to be one with them.

The people wish to know what to do to do right. When those who live their religion meet to speak to each other—to mutually strengthen their faith and encourage one another in good principles, in good, wholesome, loving lives—in morality, tradition causes some to say that they mean to do better—to alter their lives and live better than they have, when, if it was to save the world, they could not live any better unless they knew more. Have we not made mistakes? Yes, a great many. If we had known better, we could have done that which would have resulted in greater good. But, considering their knowledge, those who are striving to do right cannot conduct themselves any better than they do. I know a great many that I have that opinion about. Do they err? Yes. Do they knowingly do wickedly? They do not; but they do as well as people can. And I do not believe that brother Spencer, the President of this Stake, could, with the same knowledge, better his life in past years; and I have the same feeling in regard to many with whom I am acquainted. I know this by my own experience, which is a most excellent schoolmaster when we do the best we can.

We will seek unto the Lord for more knowledge; we will get wisdom and forget it not, but treasure it up in our hearts, and treasure up every holy principle as fast as our ability will permit us to do so. And if our minds are strong enough, and we are so constituted as to comprehend and retain, let us strive to receive every principle that pertains to life and salvation, and treasure them up in our hearts against the time of need. Walk humbly before our God, and learn correct principles as fast as you can; and then, when you discover you have missed it here and there, where you imagine that you could have done better, never find fault with the know ledge God has given you, nor with your own faith, virtue, and works; for you have done the best you could.

This people are familiar with very many principles pertaining to eternal life; and I will ask you what principle that will endure—what that is valuable in life is there, so far as you have learned, and what is there in life which you know, have known, can learn, or that exists, that “Mormonism” has not given to you? “Mormonism,” or, in other words, the Gospel of salvation, embraces the whole. It incorporates every true principle there is in heaven and on earth. If a person learns a truth, he learns so much of the Gospel of salvation. And when he learns that, he wants to understand the bearings of the great plan. He wants to understand—I will not say the extent of it, because he cannot do so, but as much thereof as his ability can comprehend, and to discern that the Gospel of salvation, the eternal Priesthood of the Son of God, is the life that is, that was, and that is to come—eternal life. Those principles are given to the children of men to practice upon, that in so doing they may come up and inherit eternal life. This is for us to learn, treasure up in our hearts, and practice. Do not seek for that which you cannot magnify, but practice upon that which you have in your possession.

I know very well that, whether we are active or not, the invisible spirits are active. And every person who desires and strives to be a Saint is closely watched by fallen spirits that came here when Lucifer fell, and by the spirits of wicked persons who have been here in tabernacles and departed from them, but who are still under the control of the prince of the power of the air. Those spirits are never idle; they are watching every person who wishes to do right, and are con tinually prompting them to do wrong. This makes it necessary for us to be continually on our guard—makes this probation a continual warfare. We do not expect to be idle. The individual that obtains a celestial kingdom will never be idle in the flesh. It is a spiritual warfare. He contends against the spirits of darkness and against the workers of iniquity, and wars all the day long against his own passions that pertain to fallen man. It is therefore necessary that the people speak often one with another, encourage each other in every good word and work, sustain every one in every good act, operate against every evil act, and continue so to do through life.

Some, who understand more or less of the principles of the Gospel, appear to be a trifle discouraged. Such do not think more of the life to come than they do of the present life. When the breath leaves the body, your life has not become extinct; your life is still in existence. And when you are in the spirit world, everything there will appear as natural as things now do. Spirits will be familiar with spirits in the spirit world—will converse, behold, and exercise every variety of communication one with another as familiarly and naturally as while here in tabernacles. There, as here, all things will be natural, and you will understand them as you now understand natural things. You will there see that those spirits we are speaking of are active: they sleep not. And you will learn that they are striving with all their might—laboring and toiling diligently as any individual would to accomplish an act in this world—to destroy the children of men.

Pertaining to the present state of the world, you know what evil spirits are doing. They are visiting the human family with various manifestations. I told the people, years and years ago, that the Lord wished them to believe in revelation; and that if they did not believe what he had revealed, he would let the Devil make them believe in revelation. Do you not think that the Devil is making them believe in revelation? What is called spirit-rapping, spirit-knocking, and so forth, is produced by the spirits that the Lord has suffered to communicate to people on the earth, and make them believe in revelation. There are many who do not believe this; but I believe it, and have from the beginning.

If true principles are revealed from heaven to men, and if there are angels, and there is a possibility of their communicating to the human family, always look for an opposite power, an evil power, to give manifestations also: look out for the counterfeit.

There is evil in the world, and there is also good. Was there ever a counterfeit without a true coin? No. Is there communication from God? Yes. From holy angels? Yes; and we have been proclaiming these facts during nearly thirty years. Are there any communications from evil spirits? Yes; and the Devil is making the people believe very strongly in revelations from the spirit world. This is called spiritualism, and it is said that thousands of spirits declare that “Mormonism” is true; but what do that class of spirits know more than mortals? Perhaps a little more in some particulars than is known here, but it is only a little more. They are subject in the spirit world to the same powers they were subject to here.

If we live faithful to the doctrine and faith of the holy Gospel we have embraced, we shall understand the real benefit and advantage that we will have over those who are not in possession of the true principles of salvation or the Priesthood. If we are faithful to our religion, when we go into the spirit world, the fallen spirits—Lucifer and the third part of the heavenly hosts that came with him, and the spirits of wicked men who have dwelt upon this earth, the whole of them combined will have no influence over our spirits. Is not that an advantage? Yes. All the rest of the children of men are more or less subject to them, and they are subject to them as they were while here in the flesh.

If we conquer here and overcome in the Gospel, in the spirit world our spirits will be above the power of evil spirits. Not that we can so overcome, while here, as to be free from death; for though Jesus overcame, yet his body was slain.

Every person possessing the principle of eternal life should look upon his body as of the earth earthy. Our bodies must return to their mother earth. True, to most people it is a wretched thought that our spirits must, for a longer or shorter period, be separated from our bodies, and thousands and millions have been subject to this affliction throughout their lives. If they understood the design of this probation and the true principles of eternal life, it is but a small matter for the body to suffer and die.

When death is past, the power of Satan has no more influence over a faithful individual: that spirit is free, and can command the power of Satan. The penalty demanded by the fall has been fully paid; all is accomplished pertaining to it, when the tabernacle of a faithful person is returned to the earth. All that was lost is passed away, and that person will again receive his body. When he is in the spirit world, he is free from those contaminating and condemning influences of Satan that we are now subject to. Here our bodies are subject to being killed by our enemies—our names to being cast out as evil. We are persecuted, hated, not beloved; though I presume that we are as much beloved here as the spirits of the Saints are in the spirit world by those spirits who hate righteousness. It is the same warfare, but we will have power over them. Those who have passed through the veil have power over the evil spirits to command, and they must obey.

You require to be stirred up to reflection, to examine your religion—the faith of the holy Gospel—the Priesthood; for it is worthy of your notice, lest perhaps a little gold becomes too precious in your thoughts. The individual who builds all his hopes upon property, upon gold and silver, and the possessions of this world, making these treasures his idol, has never yet seen, by vision, the glory of the celestial world—has not had a foretaste of it. He has little or none of that knowledge which God designs to give to the faithful. When that is possessed, what is the world to Saints? It is subject to them, and it is not in the power of Satan to blot out or destroy that heavenly knowledge.

You see men eagerly striving for gold, riches, wealth, and mourning and fretting—“We wish we had done so-and-so, for then we should have made a few more dimes. And now we wish to go and obtain piles of gold, and to do this and that—to heap up wealth and gain power.” As Lorin W. Babbitt said, who used to belong to this Church, but went to California, “I am going to sell my house and go away. I have labored eighteen years for the Lord, and now I am going to work for Lorin W. Babbitt.” What an expression! As though he could control the elements! If he possessed a mountain of gold and gambled it away in one night, it would still be in the world, whether in his possession or out of it. Suppose that I, through covetousness and dishonesty, had accumulated millions of dollars, and then should lose it all in an hour, in neither case is it out of the world, and there is as much property in the one case as in the other: it has merely changed hands. Solomon, when speaking of these things, says, The race is not to the swift, nor riches to men of wisdom. Do not fret, nor be so anxious about property, nor think that when you have gathered treasures, they alone will produce joy and comfort; for it is not so.

The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor riches to men of wisdom. The Lord gives the increase: he makes rich whom he pleases. You may inquire, “Why not make us rich?” Perhaps, because we would not know what to do with riches. You remember that a while past, nine wagons went through this city on their way to California, accompanied by some soldiers as an escort and guard. One of our missionaries, returning home, met them on the northern route, and asked one of them what caused him to apostatize? The man replied—“To tell you the truth, I was used so well at Great Salt Lake City that I could not endure it. I came there with a handcart company, and had not a mouthful of anything to eat, no clothing, nor anything to make me comfortable. As soon as I arrived in the city, Heber C. Kimball, having learned my name, met me and said, ‘Brother, there is a house; there are flour, meal, and fuel: you have had a hard time; go there with your family, and make yourselves comfortable, and eat and drink, and get rested; and when you wish to go to work, I will give you employment and pay you for your labor.’ From that day my heart was in me to do evil. I have been trying to apostatize ever since and have finally made out to do so; and I cannot attribute it to anything in the world, only that I was used so well.”

This exhibits the spirit that is in many. They are faithful while they are extremely poor; but give them wealth, and they are thrown off their guard, forget their sacred vows and solemn covenants, and the property they have around them occupies their whole attention and affections; their minds become wholly engrossed in their possessions. Doubtless there are some instances opposite to this; but probably, in nineteen cases out of twenty, poverty and hardship will tend to make people humble and faithful.

Oppression, persecution, afflictions, and other trials and privations are necessary as a test to all professing to be Saints, that they may have an opportunity to witness the workings of the power which is opposed to truth and holiness. Go into East Temple street (now commonly called “Whiskey Street”), and you will see all the wickedness you can reasonably wish to. You can there see it, smell it, taste it, and learn enough about it, without going anywhere else. It is all necessary, that we may have the privilege of proving whether we prefer good or evil. There are robbery, theft, drunkenness, lying, deceiving, gambling, whoring, and murder; and what evil is there lacking? Scan the civilized world and ask what evil they have that we have not; and if there is one lacking, it will come, for every variety is necessary to prove whether we will preserve our integrity before God.

You will know that the evil done here is laid to me. Let them pursue that course until they are tired of it. I defy them, from the gate of the celestial kingdom to the bottom of the bottomless pit, to truthfully substantiate a single accusation against me. They may continue to lie, and hire others to lie, and trump up false accusations against me; for I am accustomed to that kind of treatment from the wicked, and I am fully able, God being my helper, to endure it: it does not hurt me one particle. If the Devil and his servants loved me, and wrote and spoke well of me, I should be jealous of myself. But if I keep the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, I shall also have the fellowship of Saints and angels. Then let the wicked howl and foam; it is all right.

I wish to know whether I can stand the power of temptation and preserve my integrity. I know not but what I may be thrown into circumstances that will be pretty hard, but feel tolerably well assured that I shall not apostatize.

Evil temptations and abuse are necessary to prove our faith, to determine whether we will sacrifice our carnal appetites and desires, or forsake the knowledge of God and godliness. If we are not willing to make sacrifices for the truth and the Gospel’s sake, we are not worthy of celestial glory. What is there of an earthly nature, even though dear to us, that we cannot live without, so we have that which will sustain nature and enable us to perform the duties and labors resting upon us? With the exception named, I do not know of anything.

I can let you all go, so far as I may be required. I do not know that I ever thought enough of tobacco, tea, snuff, or anything else of that description, to alter the natural traits of my character. My passions must be in subjection to my spirit. Perhaps I am not possessed of such ungovernable passions as many are. But let our passions be as they may, the whole man must be the servant of that Being who gives us life. We need to talk with each other, pray with each other, and encourage each other, until our spirits have overcome all propensities to evil. Do you understand, what I have often taught you as plainly as my language will permit me, the warfare pertaining to the spirits of the children of men while in the flesh? The spirit is pure and holy upon its entrance into the tabernacle, and God, by the power of his Spirit, operates upon it; but the flesh, and no more, is unholy; and here are the holy and the unholy united. Which shall be the master? Let the spirit that comes from the eternal world, which at the outset is pure and holy, with the influence God gives to it, master all the passions of the body, and bring it under subjection to the will of Christ. That course makes us Saints.

I have flattered myself, if I am as faithful as I know how to be to my God, and my brethren, and to all my covenants, and faithful in the discharge of my duty, when I have lived to be as old as was Moses when the Lord appeared to him, that perhaps I then may hold communion with the Lord, as did Moses. I am not now in that position, though I know much more than I did twenty, ten, or five years ago. But have I yet lived to the state of perfection that I can commune in person with the Father and the Son at my will and pleasure? No—though I hold myself in readiness that he can wield me at his will and pleasure. If I am faithful until I am eighty years of age, perhaps the Lord will appear to me and personally dictate me in the management of his Church and people. A little over twenty years, and if I am faithful, perhaps I will obtain that favor with my Father and God.

I am not to obtain this privilege at once or in a moment. True, Joseph Smith in his youth had revelations from God. He saw and understood for himself. Are you acquainted with his life? You can read the history of it. I was acquainted with him during many years. He had heavenly visions; angels administered to him. The vision of his mind was opened to see and understand heavenly things. He revealed the will of the Lord to the people, and yet but few were really acquainted with brother Joseph. He had all the weaknesses a man could have when the vision was not upon him, when he was left to himself. He was constituted like other men, and would have required years and years longer in the flesh to become a Moses in all things. For the length of time he lived, he was as good a man as ever lived in the flesh, Jesus excepted. It was so ordered that a man has to live and gain by his experience that knowledge and wisdom, and that degree of stability in his character that will present him favorably to the heavenly hosts at all times and under all circumstances. Let us, then, resolve and act upon the principle of constant improvement.

As to doing any better than I have done, I have to know more, and so have you. You have done as well as you knew how. This is a matter of rejoicing to me. And though we are still far from being perfect, the Latter-day Saints are not far from a deep desire to be perfect. They are far from being what they should be; but they are not far from an abiding desire to be what they should be. But have you so trained yourselves as to be able to say, for instance, that if the potatoes you have planted yield, abundantly well; and if they do not, that is just as well? Can you feel to say that in all sincerity? Can you say, after you have prepared the ground, cast in the wheat, watered it, and taken good care of it, and then found the crop destroyed by blight or smut, Well, all right? Can you honestly say so? If you cannot, you have not schooled your hearts to what you should have done—to learn that it is God alone who gives the increase. We can plough, we can plant, sow, water, and tend, because we are ordained to do these things; but no man on the earth is ordained to give the increase.

It is for us to frame our acts. We shape our lives—we do this, that, and the other agreeably with the best knowledge we have; but do we produce the results of our acts? We do not. The Lord controls the results of the acts of all nations under heaven. He casts down a throne here, and sets up another yonder—brings forth a nation out of obscurity, and causes the most powerful nations to crumble to dust. We have this to learn, and to study and learn ourselves, and to control our own dispositions and passions, so that when we see others out of the way, we can have compassion on them, and say—“Thank the Lord, we have not been suffered to go astray and give way to our passions.” The merciful man shall find mercy. When a man designedly does wrong, he ought to be chastised for that wrong, receiving according to his works. If a man does wrong through ignorance, and manifests sincere sorrow for the wrong, he is the one whom we should forgive seventy times in a day, if necessary, and not the one who has designedly done wrong and repents not.

It is for us to so live that our lives will become sweet and more precious than gold or silver. And our communion one with another, may it increase in all the sublimity and heights and depths of consolation known only to those who are truly united on the earth by interests and bonds that are eternal.

May the Lord bless you for evermore! Amen.

Importance of Home Manufactures, Produce, &c

Remarks by President Daniel H. Wells, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, September 1, 1859.

Brethren and sisters, I feel there is a good spirit with us here today: all is peace; and we have had remarks from the President which have been very gratifying, at least to me, and I presume they have been to you.

There is not a great deal to say after hearing such a discourse. I feel a deep solemnity resting upon my feelings, and a strong desire to treasure up the words I have heard, and apply them in my daily walk and practice.

Under those feelings I would not be free to rise and speak at all, at this time, were it not that the President has requested me to do so. He wishes to hear others speak, that he may judge of the state of their feelings.

The inducements for the Saints to be faithful are certainly very great. There is no happiness, no joy, nothing worth living for, outside the religion of Jesus Christ—the principles of life and salvation, or “Mormonism,” as it is now called by many. These principles embrace everything, as our President has told us, which is worth knowing or possessing.

By means of our religion we may participate freely in the great blessings which all the world are seeking, but cannot find outside this Church and kingdom. We may have a permanent joy—a happiness that is unalloyed.

It is to our greatest advantage to be faithful in living our religion, although we may have to suffer poverty and persecution, which matters not, so long as our faith fails not; for as we pass along we feast upon a joy and a peace that the world cannot give nor take away, to say nothing of the reward that lies at the end of the race.

Every person feels well in the consciousness that he is living in that manner that is pleasing to our Father and God. If we live according to the understanding we have of right, the promise is that more light and truth will be imparted to us, and in this way may we go on unto perfection.

We have been told year after year how to conduct ourselves—not to give way to temptation, but live our religion faithfully—to be honest in all our dealings with one another—to be pure-minded, and seek, in all our temporal economies as a people, to be free and independent. We have had our minds occasionally lit up with the idea of being independent; and you know that the way to do this is to encourage domestic or home manufactures—to supply our own wants.

Some may say, What is the use of striving to do this, so long as clothing is plenty and cheap? and hence neglect to raise their flax, cotton, wool, and hemp. Instead of pursuing this course, it would be best for us now to improve the present time, secure such things as we need, and not abate a single particle in our efforts to produce, for our own sustenance, clothing and food, that we may be free and independent. In a day to come the Lord may shut down the gate, and throw us upon our own resources. Then let us not be off our guard because a few loads of merchandise have been brought into our country. The Lord has no doubt permitted this to supply the present necessities of the people. But will he continue to supply them in this way? Or will there be a scarcity of such things that are now plentiful? There will be a scarcity, as Brother Kimball has said.

I see no other way to escape pinching necessity than to go to with all our might and produce the things we need the most. The Lord blesses us with years of plenty against the time of need, and in these times of plenty it would be well for us to treasure up grain and other rich products of the earth.

To be righteous towards God is to obey. Jesus said, “If a man loveth me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.”

Let us be truly obedient in the things we do know; and then, if we have a desire for the things we do not know, the Lord will perhaps give them to us. A father feels more like giving to a child that has complied with his requests than to one that has not. Another thing: We frequently ask for things that we have no business with. Let us be careful about this, and faithfully practice upon that we have already received.

I feel a peculiar joy and an unspeakable satisfaction myself in the things of God. I have desired a greater degree of intelligence, that I might be more useful and of greater benefit in the kingdom of God. I do not know that I have coveted anything in this world, only to be more useful in building up the kingdom of Christ in my day and generation.

May the Lord help us to overcome evil with good—to sustain the principles of righteousness and the authorities of the Priesthood of God now on the earth.

We would like to build a temple. Suppose we had one now; are we prepared to enter into it? My earnest desire is that we may be faithful and be found worthy to go into it when it is built, and receive the blessings of eternity; but we shall not be, unless we progress in all the principles of eternal life. As soon as we are worthy to go into the house of the Lord and receive those blessings, we shall have a house.

The Lord delights to pour out the riches of eternity upon his faithful children. Why does he not do it more abundantly? Because we are not worthy to receive them. Then let us, by our godly lives, prove ourselves worthy of those blessings.

May the Lord help us to accomplish all he requires of us, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Elijah’s Latter-day Mission

A Sermon by Elder Orson Pratt, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, August 28, 1859.

I will call the attention of the assembly to the last chapter of Malachi, 5th and 6th verses. “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”

I do not feel, this morning, to make apologies particularly, but present myself before you because I am requested so to do, feeling that I am fulfilling the duties of my office and calling to comply with the requests of those set to preside. There is one subject which I will briefly touch upon as a kind of preface to my remarks, and that is in relation to one’s preparing himself, as a servant of God, to preach the principles of eternal truth. We should not study beforehand the precise subject upon which we will preach, or the precise language that we shall use in treating upon any subject; but this does not preclude the idea of a man’s informing himself upon all subjects. This, I have often thought, is not understood as it ought to be by the officers of this Church.

There are many, perhaps, who feel a disposition to neglect all improvement of mind, thinking that if they are placed in a position where they are called upon to preach, God will give them, not only the subject, but the language also, and everything pertaining to the duties of their callings as public speakers. Although we are taught that we are to take no thought beforehand what we shall say, yet we are nowhere taught in the revelations of God to let our minds run down—our understandings and our judgment to be spent in idleness, without treasuring up the things of the kingdom of God, and storing up useful knowledge. Indeed, we are commanded in the revelations of the Most High directly to the contrary from the idea which has prevailed among some.

We are commanded over and over again to treasure up wisdom in our hearts continually—to treasure up the words of eternal life continually, and make ourselves acquainted not only with ancient revelation, but with modern; to make ourselves acquainted not only with things pertaining to time, but with things pertaining to eternity; to make ourselves acquainted not only in regard to things of earth, but also in regard to things that are in heaven; to inform ourselves upon theories, principles, laws, doctrines—upon things that are at home, and upon things that are abroad. And the same Almighty Being who has commanded us to do these things has commanded us to take no thought beforehand what we should say; for every well-instructed scribe, we read in the New Testament, bringeth out of his heart things both new and old. It is not the ill-instructed scribe—it is not the person who does not study—it is not the person who suffers his time to run to idleness, but it is that man that instructs himself in all things within his reach, so far as his circumstances and abilities will allow. Such a one will bring forth before his hearers things that will edify in relation to old times, and also in relation to the present and future—things both new and old. Moreover, we read that the Holy Ghost shall give you in the very hour what ye shall say.

What need, then, inquires one, is there for a person to inform his mind, if the Holy Ghost will give him, in the very hour, what he shall say? It is not every man that has sufficient faith to obtain that amount of the Holy Spirit that will bring the subjects, the ideas, the language, and the system of the subject all before his mind at once. There are but a very few persons which ever lived upon this earth that have had sufficient faith to obtain all this fulness of these gifts; and it is one great reason why the Lord has commanded his servants to instruct themselves, because of the weakness of their faith. Then, if they have fulfilled this commandment, they will have more confidence in God; but if they have neglected this commandment, what confidence have they that the Holy Ghost will be given to them?

Will the Lord bestow his Holy Spirit upon an unwise and unfaithful servant—upon one who disobeys his commandments, who sits himself down in idleness, and will not attempt to inform his mind upon all subjects within his reach?

If any person supposes this, he is greatly mistaken; but if he tries to fulfil the commandments of God, making himself extensively acquainted with the attributes of that Being whom he worships—if he tries to become acquainted with all useful subjects, he will then have faith. He can then go before the Lord and ask him for his Spirit to indite, in the very hour, that particular subject which he has previously informed himself upon, and to bring it forth before the people in a proper light and in a proper manner. But without this his efforts will be in vain.

It is most likely that an individual who has disobeyed this commandment, instead of preaching by the Holy Ghost, will preach by his own wisdom; and he will tell you about ten thousand things which the Holy Ghost never puts in his heart: he will preach about so many things, that it will be impossible for the enlightened among his congregation to see anything in his ideas that will be calculated to edify or instruct.

I have made these preparatory remarks particularly for the benefit of my brethren of the ministry; for I know the difficulties they encounter when they go abroad. I have been abroad with several companies of missionaries from this place, and I have seen them lament and mourn, and have heard them tell their feelings one to another, saying—“O that I had occupied my time that I have spent as it were in folly, in treasuring up the principles of eternal life—that I had studied the scriptures—that I had made myself acquainted more extensively with the doctrines of the Church—that I had made myself acquainted with those principles revealed from heaven for our guidance! I should then have been prepared to stand before the inhabitants of the earth and edify them with regard to our principles.” I have heard these lamentations for months after they were in their fields of labor; and I have really been astonished at the idleness of those who are growing up, who expect to be servants of God and to occupy a conspicuous place in the kingdom of God. I know many of us can plead some sort of an excuse. The hard labors we have to endure in irrigating the soil, in penetrating the mountain canyons for wood and timber—all these things have a tendency to fatigue the body and the mind, so that we have not the same opportunity for information that we would have, if we were more at leisure. After all, cannot every man look back upon many hours that have been spent in foolishness—perhaps in going to dancing school, or in going to parties wherein there is no particular profit? Not only hours, but days are spent that might have been used for better purposes; consequently, you have not a sufficient excuse to justify you in spending your time in idleness.

Having made these remarks, we will now call your attention to the words of our text. How far I may, on the present occasion, treat upon the subject that is laid down in the text, I do not know. I will endeavor to treat upon it as far as my mind shall be opened by the Holy Spirit; and if any other subject is presented to me, I shall follow it, and deviate from the subject couched in the text. “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”

What “great and dreadful day of the Lord” is meant in the words of our text? Was it the great day of the coming of our Savior in the flesh to make an atonement for the children of men? Is there nothing contained in the last chapter of Malachi that will give us a clue to that day—that will give us an understanding of what is meant by the great and dreadful day of the Lord? Go back to the beginning of that chapter, and you will read thus—“Behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.”

Were these things predicted in re lation to the first coming of the Messiah? No. All the proud and all that did wickedly in that day were not consumed as stubble, and the righteous did not go forth and grow up like calves of the stall, and tread down the wicked as ashes under the soles of their feet, at the first coming of our Lord. Then surely this coming of our Lord had relation to the great and terrible day, the day of burning, the day in which wickedness should be entirely swept from the earth, and no remnants of the wicked left, when every branch of them and every root of them should become as stubble, and be consumed from the face of the earth. That is the terrible day that was spoken of by the Prophet, before which a certain messenger was to be sent. “Behold, I will send to you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” Who was Elijah the Prophet? He was a man that lived upon the earth some 2,500 years ago. He was a man of God that had power to call down fire from heaven and consume his enemies.

You recollect, on a certain occasion, that the king of Israel sent up fifty men to take Elijah the Prophet, that he might be slain. Elijah went up and sat on the top of a hill, and when those fifty men approached him, they said, “Come down, thou man of God,” &c. Elijah said, “If I be a man of God, let fire come from heaven and consume thee and thy fifty.” Fire descended, and they were consumed. Another fifty were sent, and they repeated the same mockery, and the Prophet of God repeated the same, “If I be a man of God, let fire descend from heaven and consume thee also and thy fifty;” and it was done. That same man of God was in his day filled with faith—with confidence in God, and was armed with the power of God; and on a certain occasion he came forth before the Israelites, and said to them, “How long do you halt between two opinions? If God be God, serve him; if Baal be God, serve him.”

How shall Israel test the matter? How shall the people know whether God is really the God of Israel or Baal? Why, says Elijah, I will tell you how to test it. You gather together all the prophets of Baal into one assembly, and let them offer an offering unto their god Baal; and I, as a Prophet of the other God, will offer an offering: and if Baal answers by fire, then he shall be the true God; but if the God that I, Elijah, worship answers by fire, then he shall be the true God. They concluded to put the thing to a test; so they assembled the Prophets of Baal (some four hundred and fifty in number), into one grand assembly, and they killed a bullock, and laid it upon the altar, and commenced crying to Baal, “O Baal, hear us!” They were very earnest and very zealous in their cries and petitions to Baal: but no voice—no answer; no fires descended from Baal to consume the sacrifice. By-and-by the Prophet Elijah began to mock them. Said he, “Cry aloud, for he is a god: either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked:” cry louder! And they did so, and cut themselves with knives and lancets, to excite the compassion of their god. But, with all their cries, continued all day long, they could obtain no voice, no revelation, no answer, no messenger, no fire.

By-and-by, Elijah the Prophet killed a sacrifice and built an altar of stones, and laid his sacrifice upon the altar, and told them to turn out water in great abundance into the troughs around about the altar; after which, Elijah merely offered up a simple petition to the God of heaven, the true God; and behold, fire fell from heaven and devoured the sacrifice, and not only that, but it consumed the water itself, and all things pertaining to the sacrifice were consumed by the fire that descended from heaven. Many of the people were convinced that Baal was not the true God, and that the prophets of Baal were false prophets. What was the result? This true Prophet said to them, Take those prophets of Baal and slay every one of them: so they went to work and killed all the prophets of Baal. By-and-by, this same Prophet went forth into a certain place, followed by Elisha, knowing that the time was come for him to be taken from the midst of Israel; and behold, there appeared a chariot of fire and horsemen, and it came down from heaven, and Elijah was placed in the chariot, and wafted to heaven, body and spirit, flesh and bones.

Then Elijah is not dead. If we could have a view of the heavenly host at the present day, we should see Elijah there. But he is to be sent from heaven on a mission to our earth. “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and dreadful day of the Lord shall come.” We need never look for the coming of the Son of God—for the day when he shall suddenly come to his temple and sit like a refiner of silver, and as with fuller’s soap to purify and purge the sons of Levi, &c., until Elijah the Prophet is sent. But the great question is, Has he been sent? If he has, it must have been of a very recent date, for the great and dreadful day of the Lord has not yet come; for there are still wicked men upon the earth. What is the testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith? We believe him to be the Prophet of the Lord in this great and last dispensation. We Latter-day Saints believe this fact. What did he testify in the Kirtland Temple, after it was built and consecrated and dedicated unto the Lord of hosts? He testified that he, in connection with others, had the ministration of Elijah the Prophet, who appeared to them in great glory. You can read this in the History of Joseph Smith, the Prophet: we can read all the instructions that were given in relation to his particular mission.

We cannot suppose that that great Prophet is coming down upon the earth to wander about among the nations, and to continue in this wicked world. If he is sent at all, he will be sent with power and authority, like other angels sent from heaven, to bestow the same authority that is upon himself on some individuals on the earth, that they may go forth holding the same authority that Elijah himself held, having the same keys, receiving the same instructions, in regard to the Latter-day dispensation—a mission, in other words, sent from heaven by Elijah as a ministering angel to seek out the chosen vessels, and ordain them, and send them to administer to the inhabitants of the earth. This is the way the Lord commits dispensations: instead of sending angels to wander on the earth, he sends them to ordain others, to restore the authority, and set the work agoing. This Church had already been organized, and certain authority and officers had been restored; but no Elijah had yet come. John the Baptist had come, in fulfillment of the 3rd chapter of Malachi and the 40th chapter of Isaiah: he came to restore the Priesthood of Levi, in order that those holding it might be purified as gold and silver, to offer an offering in righteousness when the Lord should suddenly come to his temple.

Peter, James, and John had also been sent as Apostles to restore the Apostleship to the earth; for no man held that power and authority: and in order that it might be restored, it was needful that an Apostle, holding the office, and authority, and the keys, should lay his hands upon an individual to restore these keys, and authority, and power to act in the Apostleship. Peter, James, and John, therefore, restored to the earth the same authority and power that they themselves had. But no Elijah had yet come. Years had passed along, and the Temple in Kirtland was at length built and consecrated unto the Most High God.

The time had now arrived for other ordinances to be made manifest, for other things to be revealed, for greater light to shine forth, for other keys, powers, and authorities to be bestowed upon chosen vessels of the Lord. The full time had arrived for the prophecy of Malachi to be fulfilled, when the hearts of the fathers should be turned to their children, and when the hearts of the children should be turned to their fathers, lest the Lord should come and smite the whole earth with a curse.

In order to restore a mission of that kind and magnitude, Elijah had to be sent. We have the testimony of the servants of God in this Church that this was accomplished in the Kirtland Temple, in the State of Ohio, many years ago.

But now let us inquire into the nature of this peculiar calling or mission of Elijah. All that is said in Malachi on the subject is that he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, and there leaves it. What did he mean? Did he mean only to bind the hearts of the fathers to the children living with them in greater affection, or the hearts of the children in greater affection to the fathers? Was that all the fulness of the great mission that was to be entrusted to this great translated man, called Elijah? I think not. And when we come to contemplate that which God has revealed in these latter times, we find that the mission of Elijah was something of far greater importance than merely to accomplish this that I have named.

In what sense of the word are the children to be turned unto their fathers, or the fathers to their children? I will tell you what we know and understand upon this subject. The strangers who have attended our meetings have oftentimes heard from this stand that the dispensation in which we live was intended to benefit not only the generation living, but also past generations that have lain in their graves for ages. You have heard this often hinted at; but perhaps no one, since you have attended our meeting, has taken up the subject to any great length, but merely a few words thrown out and there it was left. A sufficient, however was said to give you an understanding that we believe God will have something to do with the generations of the dead; that the children that are living here on the earth would be required to feel after their fathers that are in the graves; in other words, that the hearts and minds of the children should be turned, by the mission of Elijah, to the fathers, to search after them, to redeem and save them, though they have lain in their graves for generations.

Inquirers would really like to know if there is such a principle as mankind living on the earth having anything to do with the salvation of those that are dead. The Saints believe that the Gospel was ordained from before the foundation of the world: in other words, the Lamb that, in the mind of God, was slain from before the foundation of the world, has instituted a certain plan of salvation by which the whole human family, from Adam down to the latest man and woman that shall have place upon the earth, are to be judged. Thousands of millions have gone down to their graves who never heard one single lisp of the Gospel. They know nothing about it. They know nothing about Jesus Christ, nothing about his atonement, nothing about the fall, and nothing about the true God; but they died in the greatest of ignorance. Will it be consistent with the great attributes of Jehovah to judge them by a law they had no knowledge of? It would be inconsistent, if they were always to remain without that knowledge. But if they are to be judged by that law—that great plan of salvation ordained before the foundation of the earth, they must be made acquainted with it, either in time or in eternity.

There have been dispensations pertaining to time, and these dispensations have generally been of short endurance. The wickedness of the world has been such as to drive those holding authority and power to administer in the various dispensations from the earth; and the systems of men have been instituted in the stead thereof, and our earth has been left from time to time overwhelmed with the darkness, confusion, jars, and discords of men-made systems of religion; and the people have been shut out, for many generations, from the true light of heaven.

What has been the condition of the people for some seventeen centuries past on the great Eastern hemisphere? We have often told you that the ancient Church was destroyed from the face of the earth—that the authority of the Priesthood of heaven was taken from the earth—that no such thing as a Christian Church, with all its authority and power, as it stood upon the earth in ancient days, has existed for generations and ages that are past. This we have proved to the people from time to time, and we have showed them that this state of things has taken place in fulfillment of prophecy: hence, the people who died during these dark ages, have gone down in ignorance of the law by which they are to be judged—in ignorance of the authority and power of the Gospel—in ignorance of the Christian religion. They, having only a history of it, had no one authorized to administer it. They could barely read what it was in ancient days, and that was all.

Were not those ancient fathers of ours as good, in many respects, as we? And if they had the same opportunities we enjoy, would not many of them have embraced the Gospel as well as we? If they are not permitted to hear the Gospel in the eternal worlds, could they not come up before the Judge of all the earth, and say, You are a partial Being; you are judging us by a law we never heard of—condemning us for something we never had the opportunity of receiving?

They would have the right to plead this excuse before the great bar of judgment. But, that they may be left without excuse before the bar of God in the last dispensation of the fullness of times, God will send a holy messenger from heaven, called Elijah, the Prophet, to give power to chosen vessels on the earth to officiate in the ordinances of that Gospel in their behalf. Thus the hearts of the children will be turned towards their fathers; otherwise the children must also perish with their fathers, and all flesh would be smitten with a curse. Why? Because we have the power given unto us from heaven to feel after our fathers, and yet we will not do it; consequently, we would be cursed, and we could not escape from it.

Though the Gospel may be revealed to us, we cannot partake of it, and enjoy its principles, and neglect the fathers. That is a duty enjoined upon the children in the last dispensation; that is the duty enjoined upon us, and by no less a personage than the one I have named. That Prophet who had such great power while he remained on the earth—that had power to call down fire upon his enemies—that had power to call fire from heaven and consume the sacrifices—that Prophet who was wafted to heaven in a chariot of fire—that same august personage has been sent from the eternal worlds with this important message to the children, that we might extend a helping hand to our fathers that are dead, that they might be benefited, as well as we, by the great plan of human redemption.

Now, the great and grand question to be understood by us is, Wherein do the children benefit the fathers? In what respect, how, and in what manner are their hearts turned to them? And also, on the other hand, in what way can the fathers benefit the children? For not only the hearts of the children have to be turned to the fathers, but the hearts of the fathers are to be turned to the children. Both of these objects are to be accomplished in the great mission given to Elijah.

Let us first inquire, In what way are the children that are upon the earth to be benefited by their fathers that are dead? I have already told you. Had it not been for the fathers that are dead, where would have been the Priesthood?

Could we have got it from the Church of Rome? No; for it never was restored to them. Is there any possible way by which the people calling themselves Latter-day Saints could have been benefited by the authority and Priesthood of heaven, unless it were through our fathers who were sent from heaven, holding the authority and conferring it upon the children, that they might officiate in behalf of those who died without the knowledge of the Gospel? There is no other way; and this is the way we obtained it; and we have certainly been benefited by it, and the hearts of our fathers holding the Priesthood have really and truly been turned unto us. While they lived upon the earth, they looked down through the dark vista of ages, and beheld their children in the last dispensation, and the work they were to accomplish. They beheld the time when all things in heaven and on the earth, that are in Christ, should be gathered together in one; and they called it “the dispensation of the fulness of times:” in other words, a dispensation that includes all other dispensations. Do you understand that? For instance, the former dispensations that have been upon this earth have been dispensations only in part: they were calculated in their nature to accomplish certain objects upon the face of the earth, but they never embraced the fathers and the children down to the end of time.

In the last dispensation of the fulness of times all other dispensations will be consolidated. It will be the winding-up dispensation of this earth, introduced before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. It will be a dispensation that will take hold of the fathers back to the earliest ages of the world. It will be a dispensation in which the keys that were committed to the Apostles in the ancient days will be delivered to chosen ones—a dispensation in which all the keys and powers held by all the ancient Prophets will be delivered—a dispensation that will reach back unto the days of Moses, and that will take hold of patriarchal keys, and the righteous institutions of those that lived in the days of the flood, and back to the days of our father Adam; and there will be keys and powers restored once revealed to him. All these dispensations could not be perfected without the grand dispensation of the fulness of times that will encompass all the inhabitants of the earth, of all ages and generations, in one vast general assembly. All things in heaven, recollect, and all things on the earth that are in Christ are to be gathered in one.

Did any other dispensations accomplish this? Contemplate the works of all past dispensations, and you will find all were not gathered in one. It is true they were gathered from time to time in the heavens, to wait there for the time when all the righteous of this globe should be gathered into one vast assembly—the fathers with the children, and the children with the fathers: the one could not be perfected without the other.

Herein, then, both the fathers and the children are interested, and the children are benefited through the assistance of the keys handed down from heaven by the fathers; and on the other hand, that portion of the fathers who died in ignorance are benefited by the assistance of the keys committed into the hands of the children who will officiate in their behalf.

But now let us come to particulars in regard to this subject. How do the children officiate in behalf of the fathers? We can officiate while in the flesh so far as ordinances are concerned. We cannot believe for our fathers, we cannot repent for them, we cannot receive the Holy Ghost for our fathers, and we cannot attain to any other point pertaining to the mind or the spirit of man.

Wherein, inquires one, can we benefit our fathers, if we cannot repent for them, nor believe for them, nor receive the Holy Ghost for them? In what manner can we benefit them? I will tell you what we can do. We can be baptized for the dead. Can it be possible that there is such a principle? Turn to the 15th chapter of Paul’s 1st Epistle to the Corin thians, where you can read the words of the great Apostle upon the subject of baptism for the dead. “Else,” said he, “what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?”

He understood the matter; it was all plain before him; and he was writing to a people who understood it: they had received previous instructions, although these words are contained in what is called Paul’s first Epistle to the Corinthians; and in this first Epistle we read that he had written another epistle to that same people; but that is lost. If we had that first epistle which Paul refers to in what is now termed “the first Epistle,” we should probably find this doctrine fully revealed, for he wrote to them as though they understood all about it. He could with propriety have addressed them in a style something like this—You Corinthians have received the ordinance of baptism for the dead; you have gone forth and been baptized for and in behalf of the dead; you have been buried in water in the likeness of Christ’s death, and raised from it in the likeness of his resurrection, in behalf of the dead: and now, inasmuch as you understand it, what will you do, if the dead rise not at all? As much as to say that baptism will give you a full and clear title to come forth in the morning of the first resurrection; and also your dead can rise in the morning of the first resurrection, inasmuch as you have been baptized for them: but if the dead are not raised from their graves, neither you nor they can be benefited by baptism.

This is the argument of Paul. This looks consistent. Those spirits of our fathers whose bodies are in their graves can repent, for they have not lost their agency; they can believe in Jesus Christ, for that is an act of the mind: they can reform from every evil, because they are agents; for it is the spirit that can do good or evil. That same being, called the spirit, can repent in the eternal worlds as well as here; it can believe in Jesus Christ and in his atonement in the eternal worlds as well as here: and if the Gospel is preached to them there, they can receive it there, so far as the acts of the mind are concerned; but they could not receive baptism there, for that is an ordinance pertaining to the body: it is an outward ordinance—an ordinance instituted particularly for those that are in the flesh.

Baptism is for the remission of the sins of those who are in the body; and it is the same for the generations of the dead, if their sins are to be forgiven through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. The conditions of forgiveness are the same in the spirit world as here—namely, baptism for the remission of sins. But, inasmuch as they have not the opportunity of being baptized in that spirit world, some person else must officiate for them in their behalf. What power and authority do the servants of God justly receive who administer here on the earth? Do they administer as persons that have no authority? Do they officiate as having received authority from man? Do they assume authority? Is this the kind of authority with which the true servants of God administer in ordinances? No. The authority committed into the hands of the servants of God, in all dispensations of the Gospel, is the power to bind on the earth, and it is bound in heaven—to seal on the earth and it is sealed in heaven—to loose on the earth, and it is loosed in the heavens; and whosesoever sins they remit here on the earth, they are to be remitted in the heavens; and whosesoever sins they retain here upon the earth, they are retained against those individuals in the heavens. This is the authority of the servants of God in all dispensations of the Gospel from the earliest ages of the world until the present time. Any authority which does not embrace this power in the ministration of ordinances is altogether useless and in vain. Baptism received at the hands of any unauthorized person is good for nothing.

When the children of men here in the flesh receive the Gospel for themselves, they are baptized for the remission of sins, and receive the fulness of the Gospel and the hope of eternal life in the kingdom of God for themselves: when they also have a dispensation committed to them for the benefit of their fathers who are dead, unless they exercise their agency in trying to benefit the fathers, they will, as Malachi predicts, be smitten with a curse: they will not be profited themselves by the Gospel which they have received. Why? Because they do not reach forward and try to reclaim others whose bodies are sleeping in the grave.

The Latter-day Saints have had this subject revealed to them; and the great God that sent his angel to Joseph Smith, to give him power and authority to translate the history of ancient America, with the Gospel and prophecies contained in it, has spoken to the same man, revealing to him the keys of Elijah, and power to seal on earth that which shall be sealed in the heavens: therefore, when by that authority the servants and handmaids of the Lord go forth and are baptized for those that are dead, it is recorded and sealed on the earth. The administrator who officiates for and in behalf of the dead does it by authority. He says—Having authority given me in the name of Jesus Christ, I baptize you for and in behalf of your father, of your mother, of your grandfather, or of any of your ancestors, as the case may be, that are dead; and I do this in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. This is recorded in the sacred records kept on the earth; and the recording angel who takes cognizance of the ordinances on the earth makes a record of the same in heaven. I do not know but Elijah himself may be the recording angel for eternity.

The sacred books kept in the archives of eternity are to be opened in the great judgment day, and compared with the records kept on the earth; and then, if it is found that things have been done by the authority and commandment of the Most High, in relation to the dead, and the same things are found to be recorded both on earth and in heaven, such sacred books will be opened and read before the assembled universe in the day of judgment, and will be sanctioned by Him who sits on the throne and deals out justice and mercy to all of his creation. Our fathers who are in the spirit world must have a message sent to them. What benefit would it be for you and me to go forth and be baptized for our fathers, or for our grandfathers, or for any of our ancestors who are dead, if no message is to be sent to them in the spirit world? A message must be sent to them.

There are authorities in heaven as well as upon the earth, and the authorities in heaven are far greater in number than the few who are upon the earth. This is only a little branch of the great tree of the Priesthood—merely a small branch receiving authority from heaven, so that the inhabitants of the earth may be benefited as well as the inhabitants of the eternal world; but the great trunk of the tree of the Priesthood is in heaven. There you will find thousand and millions holding the power of the Priesthood; there you will find numerous hosts of messengers to be sent forth to benefit the numerous nations of the dead. They go forth having authority; they enter into the prison houses of the dead; they open their mouths by authority and commandment of the Most High God; they preach to them Jesus Christ as the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world: they show to the inhabitants of the dead, in their prison houses, that his atonement was intended to reach them as well as people dwelling upon the earth. And in proof of this, let me refer you to what the Apostle Peter says in relation to Jesus our great High Priest and Apostle, who was sent forth by the commandment of the Father to our world. Peter says that after he was crucified and put to death in the flesh, he went to preach to the spirits in prison which perished in the floods, when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was preparing.

We learn from this that Jesus has set the example—that he came forth while in the flesh to minister unto those in the flesh; and while his body slept in the tomb, and his spirit was separate from the same, he still felt himself authorized as an Apostle and High Priest to go to those prison houses and open the prison doors and set the captives free. He found those old antediluvian spirits that existed on the earth some two thousand years before that time; he preached to them; and, as Peter says, in the next chapter, he preached the Gospel to them—“For for this cause was the gospel preached to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, and live according to God in the spirit.” They could not be judged by the same law, unless it was preached to them. The same Gospel must be sounded in their ears that was sounded in the ears of the living. If they reject it in their prison houses, they will be punished by the same law you and I will be punished by, if we reject it in the flesh.

One of the powers of the Priesthood is that whatsoever you shall loose on the earth shall be loosed in the heavens. Now, if a spirit does sincerely receive a messenger in that prison—if he believes his testimony and hearkens to all things that are said—if he believes that Jesus Christ has tasted death for every man—for those who die in ignorance, as well as for those who hear the Gospel in the flesh, he will be informed that in yonder world, or in the world he came from, there is authority given for men and women to be baptized for such.

Those messengers sent to preach in prison will most likely interrogate the prisoners in language something like this—Will you receive our testimony? Do you believe that Jesus Christ has tasted death for every man? Do you believe that through your repentance and faith, and through the ordinance of baptism in your behalf, by those that are living in yonder world, you may have a remission of your sins? If they believe it, and actually do repent, the ordinance of baptism administered here in their behalf will benefit them there. But, says one, this being baptized for another looks rather inconsistent to me. Why does it? Suppose a man is placed in a situation that he could not be baptized for himself, must his sins be retained unto him? Must he remain in prison throughout all ages of eternity, because he has lost his body, and has not the privilege of being baptized? Does that look inconsistent with the justice of God? Then why not another person administer in his behalf? How could you have atoned for yourselves? If it had not been for the agency of another being that acted for you and in your behalf, you must have perished eternally. You had forfeited every right and title to the blessings of the kingdom of God: all mankind were shut out from the presence of God, and became dead as to things pertaining to righteousness: the sentence of the first death was placed upon father Adam and his children, which was irrevocable, if there had been no atonement.

We would have had to lay down these bodies, never to rise from the tomb, if there had been no atonement: our spirits would have been forever subject to that being that tempted our first parents, and we could not have helped ourselves. Hence, the Son of God came forth and made an atonement, not for himself, but for and in behalf and in the name of his younger brethren, that they, through his blood, and through certain conditions of the Gospel, might receive forgiveness of their sins. One of these conditions is baptism: but spirits are placed in a condition where they cannot receive this ordinance. And now, why not somebody have authority to go and administer for them and in their behalf? Not only Jesus has acted in behalf of the children of men, but it pertains to the same Priesthood and Apostleship, wherever it is placed, to act for and in behalf of the children of men: hence, Paul says, We beseech you, not in our own name, but in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. They came forth to officiate, for the children of men, that could not help themselves without authorized ministers.

Just so, the dead could not help themselves without messengers being sent to them in their prison houses, and without persons in the flesh being authorized to receive Gospel ordinances for them and in their behalf. How are we to know the individuals for whom we should be baptized? We know nothing about our ancestors very far back. We can, perhaps, go back to our grandfathers, and some of you may possibly trace your genealogies back seven or eight generations, and get the names of your ancestors. But when you get these, there is a still longer chain, with many links to it, before you get back where the chain has been mended up by ancient administrators. How can we be baptized for persons whose very names are lost? Do you suppose that the Prophet Elijah would be sent from heaven with this great and important mission to turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers, and then leave them in entire ignorance with regard to their genealogies?

If Elijah the Prophet is to be sent before the great and dreadful day of the Lord to turn the hearts of the children to the fathers, you may be assured that we shall learn something about the genealogy of those fathers.

We shall learn by the spirit of revelation whom to be baptized for, and whom to officiate for in the holy ordinances of the Gospel. Herein is the necessity of revelation. Take away revelation from this great dispensation of the fulness of times, and I would not give you much for the mission of Elijah, or for the dispensation itself. Take away that great principle that always characterized all other dispensations, and you throw us into uncertainty on tens of thousands of important subjects.

But when a communication is opened between man and his Maker, and angels are sent down to restore their keys and their powers, light shines at once upon our pathway. It may be asked, Where are these ordinances to be attended to? Can we run over the world and pick up Saints here and there and baptize them for their dead? No. The house of God is a house of order, the kingdom of God is a kingdom of order, and everything must be conducted with order, and with power and authority, so that when it is sealed on earth it is sealed in the heavens, that the records on earth and in heaven may agree—that the Priesthood on earth and in heaven may agree—that they may be one.

These things cannot be attended to in all places on the earth. There are certain appointed places for the ministration of these holy ordinances. Temples must be built, by the commandment of the Almighty, unto his holy name, that shall be sanctified and made holy from the foundation stone unto the top thereof, consecrated to the living God for the administration of holy ordinances, not only for the benefit of the living, but for the benefit of the fathers who are dead. But in what apartments in the Temple shall the baptism for the dead be administered? It will be in the proper place—in the lowest story or department of the house of God. Why? Because it must be in a place underneath where the living assemble, in representation of the dead that are laid down in the grave. There a baptismal font must be erected by the commandment of the Most High, and after the pattern he shall give by revelation unto his servants; and in such a font this sacred and holy ordinance must be administered by the servants of God.

We will mention another thing in regard to the authority that receives these communications. Every man will not be his own revelator in these matters, for there would be ten thousand revelators, and perhaps no more than five hundred of them would be true.

In the manifestation of spiritual gifts which God has given to his servants in all ages of the world, he has had those appointed with authority and power to discern which were from God, and which were not. In the days of Moses there were many Prophets. The spirit of prophecy rested upon seventy Elders of Israel on a certain occasion; and when Joshua saw some of them in their tents prophesying, he ran to Moses, with great zeal, and said, “My lord Moses forbid them.” He felt zealous for Moses, for fear he would lose his honor as a Prophet among so many. Moses exclaimed, “I would to God all the Lord’s people were prophets.” If they had been, it would have required a great many having the gift to discern the spirits of the Prophets to know which were true. So it will be in relation to the revelations of genealogies of the Saints of the living God. If they are to feel after their fathers that are dead, and redeem them by the holy ordinance of baptism, they will not go to work in the dark, nor by the prophecies and revelations of every person who may offer himself as a revelator or prophet. There will be an order in the house of God; there will be a Moses there, or, in other words, a man holding the keys and authority of these things.

Moses was the great Prophet in Israel, though there were other prophets. Says the Lord, I will reveal myself to those other prophets in dark sayings; I will instruct them in figures and dreams; but not so with my servant Moses: I will talk to him face to face, and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold. So, in the dispensation of the latter days, a Moses will stand in the congregation filled with the Holy Ghost, and the spirit of revelation will be upon him, to receive instruction from the heavens in regard to the fathers and the dispensation over which he presides.

Now, let me refer you to a little Scripture on this subject. I have already referred you to what Peter and Paul said. Isaiah, in the 24th chapter, prophesies of the great day of burning—of the great day when the earth shall reel to and fro as a drunken man—of the great day when all nations of the wicked will perish; after which, he further adds, “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited. Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.”

You see, from these passages, that in the last days many of those kings and high ones who will not place themselves in a position to receive the Gospel, and who die ignorant of its principles, will be gathered together as prisoners in the pit, and be shut up for many days, with a fearful looking for the judgment of the great day. They will not know what is coming—what will befall them, like all prisoners guilty of crime. But after many days they shall be visited by the servants of God, as Jesus visited the antediluvians with a message: the door of their prison will be thrown open, after they have been sufficiently long confined; and if they repent, they can be redeemed; but if they will not repent, they will be taken from thence and cast into outer darkness.

You know that men are taken up for crime and shut up in the calaboose, or jail, or some such place to stay there for a length of time until they are brought to judgment; and then they are sentenced to hard labor, perhaps, in the Penitentiary. These will be in torment until they obey the message sent to them; and if they do not receive the message of pardon, they will be punished until they have paid the uttermost farthing; that is, they will be punished with eternal punishment.

We might quote you many other passages in relation to this subject; but it is unnecessary for us to multiply passages on a subject that ought to be familiar to all the Latter-day Saints: and as it is a subject that does not particularly benefit strangers, I do not know that it is necessary for them to have all the evidence; for they have not authority to be baptized for their dead, because they have not been baptized for themselves.

They may like to know what the peculiar doctrines of the Latter-day Saints are, and that is all the good it will do them. But, as Latter-day Saints, we have principles to lay before the inhabitants of the earth that embrace, not only the people living on it, but all the generations of the dead. It is the most charitable doctrine that was ever preached to the nations of the earth. The Universalists think they are very charitable. Why? Because they send all to heaven, whether they are good or evil, saints or sinners. Murderers, drunkards, and all classes of society are to dwell together in heaven. And what a heaven it would be! Methodists contending against Baptists, and Baptists against Methodists, Presbyterians against Quakers, Roman Catholics against Protestants, and Nothingarians against Sectarians, and Sectarians against Nothingarians; and then add to the whole catalogue of contending sects drunkards, blasphemers, whoremongers, murderers, and every species of wicked beings, all jumbled up together. Oh, what a happy place! Brother Kimball says—“And all of them with a revolver and bowie knife at their sides.”

I think I should pray for an outside corner without the walls. I should want to get at a great distance from such a heterogeneous mass. They call this charity; but it is different from the charity which dwells in the bosom of God. I do not think he has charity enough to associate with a company of this descrip tion. But the Latter-day Saints have their Church founded on true principles, law, and order—principles revealed from heaven, that all on the earth, and in the eternal worlds may be saved on pure principles, and pure principles only. If they ever inherit the kingdom of God, they must go there with hearts as pure as the angels of God; if they dwell in his presence, they must be pure as he is pure, perfect as he is perfect, that the holy order of heaven may be graced with all the perfection, holiness, and godliness of character that we read of in the Scriptures of eternal truth. Such a heaven will be a heaven indeed. It is the goodness and virtue of beings that inherit a place which make it desirable.

You select a place that is surrounded with many disadvantages, like these deserts and mountain wilds, and place a pure people there—a people perfectly organized and influenced by the Holy Ghost in all things, doing unto others as they would have others do to them in everything, meting out justice on the principles of righteousness and truth; and let everyone be perfectly honest in his deal, and let his hands be continually stayed from stealing other people’s property, and let there be no quarrelling or evil speaking; and if such a people do have to toil and labor in the midst of these mountains and canyons, yet they are happy; they carry heaven in their own bosoms, or the principles that make happiness abide within them. When these Godlike principles become more fully developed—when the Saints become more rooted and grounded in them, and enter into the eternal worlds and find everybody there, like themselves, pure in heart, it will make a perfect heaven. You place the wicked there, with all their abominations, and it will transform heaven into a hell.

It matters not how beautiful a place it may be—although it is as lovely as the garden of Eden—though everything in the eternal world harmonizes and the elements all conspire to produce happiness, yet place a people there with wicked hearts, and it is hell. You take a man full of corruption and introduce him into the society of the pure and just, and it would be a perfect hell to him.

I have often heard blasphemers and drunkards and abominable characters say, I really hope I shall at last get to heaven. If they get there, they will be in the most miserable place they could be in. Were they to behold the face of God, or the angels, it would kindle in them a flame of unquenchable fire; it would be the very worst place a wicked man could get into: he would much rather go and dwell in hell with the Devil and his host. On the other hand, you take a man that is pure in heart—a holy being, and place him in the society of the devils, and he is not in his element; the society is disagreeable. If he were obliged to stay there and behold the corrupt and evil doings of the wicked and abominable, it would in some degree make a hell for him to look upon their conduct, and still such a being would have one principle about him that would enable him to control, in a measure, his feelings; that is, he would have control over those characters; and herein is the power of the Priesthood. If the servants of God are sent to the spirit prison to minister unto them, if they are sent to those who are in a state of wickedness and degradation to minister to them, they have one source of comfort—they are not confined there as prisoners; they go there voluntarily; they do not associate with their wickedness, but hate it; they are willing to stay there, peradventure they may bring some of them to repentance; and the Devil has no power over them: they have learned to control him in this life, to rebuke him, and to say unto him, Get behind us, Satan! When a Saint arrives in that eternal world, if he be sent on a mission into the dominions of Satan, to reclaim some under his power, he can say to Satan and to all his armies, Depart hence! He has the power of the Priesthood to command him and all powers under him, and they are obliged to obey. Not so with a wicked man: he gets, into a perfect hell, wherever you place him, so long as he harbors wickedness in his breast.

But we have spoken concerning our fathers that are to be redeemed. We have spoken concerning the work of the children to redeem them. Let me here say that before this last dispensation ends there will be a perfect unbroken chain from the first of the fathers to the time of the close of the dispensation; and all will be saved who can be saved: all who are placed within the power of redemption will be redeemed—not redeemed to the same degree of salvation, but some will inherit one kingdom, and some another; some receiving the highest or celestial glory, being crowned with crowns of glory in the presence of God forever, shining forth like the sun in its meridian strength; while others, though celestial, will be subject to them, inheriting a less degree of celestial glory. Others will inherit a terrestrial glory, or the glory of the moon. Others will inherit a glory still less than this, which may be termed a telestial glory, like that of the stars—a glory small indeed! They are all redeemed, according to their repentance, faithfulness, and works of righteousness, into these various degrees of glory. On the other hand, opposite to these various degrees of glory, are various degrees of punishment; some inheriting a prison, where they may be visited with rays of hope; others inheriting outer darkness, where there is weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth; others cast into a bottomless or lowermost pit to dwell with the Devil and his angels throughout eternity, having committed the unpardonable sin, for whom there is no forgiveness in this world nor the world to come; and thus the justice of God will be magnified as well as his mercy; for God is perfectly just, being just according to our notions of justice; for among the original qualities of our minds we have correct notions of justice implanted in our bosoms originally by God himself: also what we know of mercy originated from God. He implanted the principles of justice and mercy in our hearts, and he implanted the same principles that dwell in his own bosom.

What is justice with us, when we are truly enlightened, is justice with God; and what is mercy with us, when we are truly enlightened, is mercy with God: and these great attributes will be magnified in the dealing out of punishments and rewards.

Every man which ever has lived, or ever will live, will be dealt with according to his works and the law of the Gospel. There is another thing I wish to lay before this congregation, and that is in regard to those generations to whom the Gospel has not been committed in time. While I have been traveling abroad, many have said to me, How is it? You teach us that there has been no Church of God for many generations on the earth. You teach us that our fathers and mothers in generations gone past have died without the knowledge of the Gospel; you teach us that God is a just being, and will punish men by the law of the Gospel; and how is it that he suffered all these generations to remain without the Gospel while in the flesh? I want to answer this question, and tell you why there was no Church on the earth six hundred or a thousand years ago—why generation after generation have fallen into their graves, without hearing the voice of God, or any communication from him. I will give you the reason why, and then leave you to judge in relation to the matter. It is well known that the nations killed off the old Apostles and Prophets, and banished the Church of Christ from the earth. Those who remained were corrupt, evil, and devilish, desiring to work wickedness, having no desires for righteousness, having apostatized from the truth. Because of the great wickedness which reigned, the Lord Almighty saw that it was impossible for him to reveal a dispensation and protect it on the earth; he saw that it was impossible to be done in those dark ages. For if he had revealed himself to any man, and that man should go forth and say, Thus saith the Lord God, he might, before the sun went down, look for his head to be taken off his shoulders, or to be stretched upon the wheels of the Inquisition, to be tortured with all manner of cruelties as a heretic. And if he should undertake to work secretly with mankind, after it was found out publicly, he would have been hunted from one end of the earth to the other, until he was destroyed and all his followers. This would have brought innocent blood again upon the people. The Lord saw that they would bring greater wickedness on themselves, if he revealed a dispensation, than to withhold it; for they would have been sure to take the lives of his servants, and bring innocent blood upon their heads, even as their fathers did. This would effectually prevent them from entering into that prison where they, in due time, could hear the Gospel.

To prevent the effusion of innocent blood and give them a chance, the Lord withheld from them his Church. The Lord might have reasoned thus—I will not raise up my Church in their midst, for they will put the people of that Church to death. If I restore the authority to the earth, they will root it out; they will shed innocent blood: therefore, I will send these generations into their graves in ignorance; and when governments are established so liberal that there will be some prospect of establishing my kingdom on the earth, then I will send Elijah the Prophet, and he shall give authority to the children to search after their fathers who died in ignorance of the Gospel.

We are willing to go the earth over to save the living; we are willing to build temples and administer in ordinances to save the dead; we are willing to enter the eternal worlds and preach to every creature who has not placed himself beyond the reach of mercy. We are willing to labor both in this world and in the next to save men.

I will now close my remarks by saying, Let all rejoice that the great day of the dispensation of the fulness of times has come. Let the living rejoice; let the dead rejoice; let the heavens and the earth rejoice; let all creation shout hosannah! Glory to God in the highest! For he hath brought salvation, and glory, and honor, and immortality, and eternal life to the fallen sons of men. Amen.